Student council adopts heart 2 heart|04 Facial hair ‘fur’ a good cause|14 Athletes sign to universities|20
Franklin High School • 900 N. Resler, El Paso TX 79912 • 915.833.2696 • Volume 18, Issue 3 • December 2010 • fhschronicle.com
WRESTLING Untamed and undefeated see page 23
cover photo by Briana Sanchez
continued online coverage at
news on the cover Siting intently alongside their team, senior co-captains Desta Bailey and Erich Mundt observe a wrestling match against MOntwood. They are flanked by juniors Santiago Barron, Frank Fuentes, Jesus Zamarripa and Anwar Azouri. photo by Briana Sanchez thunderchickens The junior Christmas tree came in first place for the class council competition using a FHS vs. CHS theme. “It’s a tribute to the Franklin vs. Coronado game that we won recently because it was the first time that we had won in the past three years,” class president Madison Bailey said. “We decided to use that defining moment of the year as our theme.” The sophomores came in second, seniors in third and freshmen in fourth place. photo by Danielle Zaragoza
freedom of the press statement Student publications guard freedom of the press as a right of all people in a free society. It carries with it freedom and responsibility to discuss, question and challenge actions and statements of the student body, administration and other public figures. Student journalists hold the right to speak unpopular opinions and the privilege to agree with the majority. The Chronicle is a public forum of speech that is produced by students of Franklin High School once a month. Bylined columns represent the writer’s opinion while editorials are designed to persuade, warn, criticize, inform or inspire. Letters to the editor must be signed and may be edited. The editorial board reserves the right to refuse any letter or advertisements that are not in the best interests of the school. Views expressed in editorials are not necessarily those of the administration, newspaper staff or journalism advisers. Further information may be obtained by calling 915.833.2696, 832.6600 or going online to our website www.fhschronicle.com.
the chronicle staff STEPHANIE AVALOS editor-in-chief AMANDA RODRIGUEZ editor-in-chief BRIANA SANCHEZ head photographer IAN BAKER design editor RHIANNA TAPIA features editor NATALIE FELSEN opinions editor SARAH SKIRMONT sports editor MAURICIO CASILLAS sports editor CAMI GONZALEZ entertainment editor MEGAN CAHALAN entertainment editor HAE RIN MA business manager ALEKSEY ZEBROWSKI reporter ALEXIS CAIN reporter BLITHE PARSONS reporter CAMILLE CYR reporter DAVID BROWN videographer FAITH PETTENGILL reporter JENNIFER TELLEZ reporter KATHERINE NIELSON videographer LISA BIBBO reporter NICOLE ROSEN reporter STEPHANIE ASSI reporter OSCAR RUIZ graphic illustrator ALEX MORALES student teacher OCTAVIO LOPEZ photographer JAI TANNER adviser CARLA GASWAY principal
about this issue volume 18, issue 3, December 2010
hough the New Year is just around the corner and students and faculty alike are looking forward to what 2011 will bring them, accomplishments are taking place that are cause for celebration. The school continues to hold the largest blood drive in the city, with each 347 pints collected having the capacity to save three lives (pg. 7). Further, three young athletes have committed to sports and prestigious universities ranging from Brown University to the Air Force Academy (pg. 20, 21), seniors have received large scholarships (pg. 5) and freshman Emily Felsen has become the first freshman selected to compete in the KCOS challenge for High Q (pg. 5). Winter sports are strong, with the boys’ wrestling team going into the remainder of their season undefeated. Both the boys’ (pg. 21) and girls’ (pg. 22) varsity basketball teams are off to strong starts. Boys’ varsity soccer is also preparing for its season, which kicks off Jan. 13 (pg. 22). Although their season has finished, six senior football players have been chosen to play in the All City football game which will be held Dec. 18 at the Sun Bowl (pg. 22). Our videographers have been at most events recording games, key moments and of course, reactions. If you have events that deserve coverage, either in print, video or still photography, stop by W100 and share your ideas. You may also email your thoughts to fhschronicle@ gmail.com or call our office at 915.833.2696. —Amanda Rodriguez, Stephanie Avalos, editor-in-chiefs
video files at fhschronicle.com Check out the following videos: (1) Basketball: Franklin vs. Dallas Lincoln; (2) Basketball: Franklin vs. Horizon; (3) Swimming: Cathedral Invitational; (4) Basketball: Franklin vs. Ysleta; (5) Dance: Pasta and Pizazz; (6) Basketball: Franklin vs. Clint; (7) Gore Signs with Brown; (8) Orangeville hits FHS; (9) Football: Franklin vs. San Angelo Central. videos created by Stephanie Assi, David Brown, Kat Nielson, Sahjar Aliabadi, Mandy Barraza and Alex Morales
section editor • amanda rodriguez [firstname.lastname@example.org]
To combat bullying, student council adopts Heart 2 Heart program
“Students are either bullies themselves, they have been bullied or they know someone who is affected. It only takes one heart to touch another heart and make a difference.” | STUDENT ACTIVITIES MANAGER LISA THOMPSON |
Statistics show that one out of four kids is bullied. An American Justice Department school bullying statistics and cyber bullying statistics study show that this month, one out of every four students will be abused by another youth. photo by Briana Sanchez
| CAMILLE CYR | reporter
very half hour a child commits suicide after being bullied. To address this issue, student council has adopted a Heart 2 Heart theme for the year. “Students are either bullies themselves, they have been bullied or they know someone who is affected by it,” student activities manager Lisa Thompson said. “It only takes one heart to touch another heart and make a difference.” Student council is implementing a new program for bullying at the high school level, while being mentors for elementary students. “We need to stop bullying before it starts or when it’s at its early stages,” DASH chairperson Olivia Manning said. “My friend told me he wanted to commit suicide and I knew there were things that could’ve prevented this.” In years past, senior Aaron Alonso, who is the committee chair for Pride and Patriotism, had to put up with constant badgering for simply being himself. “I was bullied in my middle school in Juarez. I was coming out of school and three guys attacked me. Self-defense is supposed to be telling them ‘stop it,’ but your normal reaction is to do something about it.“ But Alonso was unable to fight off his attackers. “They were much stronger than me. I was taken down by them, and one guy took his belt and slashed my body. It was bad. I was left bleeding on the floor,” Alonso said. Alonso believes the actions of bullies stem from self-hatred. “It’s sad that to make yourself feel better you have to make other people feel bad about themselves,” Alonso said.
According to Ezine Articles, 19,000 children attempt to commit suicide over the course of one year due to bullying. Over 85% of teenagers say that revenge as an aftermath of being bullied is the leading cause for school shootings and homicide. “Bullying is a serious problem, like everything else. Our generation has no concept of moderation, so what used to be a shove in the hallway are shootings in which kids are being murdered,” student council president Rebecca Brady said. “A lot of kids think, ‘Oh, that won’t happen to me,’ but the scary part about it is that it could.” In some instances, bullying goes unreported, and when that happens, serious consequences can be at stake. Without reports, parents or guardians can’t find proper counseling for both the victim and the bully. “I can’t say that our committee has impacted bully victims because I’m sure the people who were impacted won’t tell us,” Brady said. “I truly hope that people can step up and own this school that they call their own because right now everyone is renting it.” Whether it be cyber bullying or just bullying in general, over 75% of students are faced with physical, psychological and emotional abuse according to the statistics of Ezine Articles. “Most of the bullying seen in school today isn’t physical; rather, it’s embedded in cell phone conversations and streamlined through Facebook,” Brady said. “Where people got the idea that saying mean things about another person was ‘cool’ who knows, but it’s not, and it makes the person who said it look worse in the end. It’s not impressing anyone, never has and it never will.”
StuCo, EPISD develop website link to report bullying | AMANDA RODRIGUEZ | editor in chief s part of the student council’s platform to run for State President, student activities manager Lisa Thompson along with the members of the student council executive board are working with EPISD officials to implement information about bullying to the district website. The initial idea presented by student council was the addition of a link to the EPISD website that will allow people to anonymously report bullying problem, but that has since evolved. “Student council is running for State President [and] our platform is about bullying. We felt that this was a very important topic for all students at this time; something that impacts everyone in some way or another,” Thompson said. “Student Council is looking for all kinds of avenues in which we can educate our parents, students and community about bullying and how to get help
or report it.” The idea of adding a link has been viewed well by EPISD Chief Technology Officer Stephen Stiles. “This is a great idea that we need to implement,” Stiles said. “Bullying appears to have grown nationwide attention and technology can clearly play a role in combating it.” Thompson came across a link to report bullying by accident while strolling through a San Diego school district website and led the executive board in introducing the topic to district officials. “I happened to be looking at the San Diego website because my older son may be moving there, and I was just checking out various things about that community,” Thompson said. “Since that time though, we have found several more districts with this type of link on their website.”
While the idea of the link has been received well so far, Stiles believes that it may not be the most useful way to put the website to use. “[This link] is a good thing, but insufficient to address the problem. The district that Franklin’s student council researched, San Diego, has had this reporting site active for more than half a year, and has only had two reports submitted,” Stiles said. “The most recognized district in the country for addressing bullying, Charlotte/ Mecklenburg, NC, has a similar reporting mechanism that is also very rarely used.” Based off of student council’s initial idea, Stiles is planning on expanding the idea along with the executive board to create an entire website dedicated to preventing bullying. “I anticipate a full anti-bullying site that includes a reporting link, following the recommendations to be made by the Franklin student council,” Stiles said.
EPISD PROMISES FUNDING FOR ‘GO CENTER’ | AMANDA RODRIGUEZ | editor in chief
oom S133 has been furnished with brand new computers since last school year and is in the process of being turned into a GO Center. A GO Center is a computer lab set up solely to help students with college processes, but it is not in use because of a lack of wiring. “The district purchased the computers for the GO Center out of High School Allocation funds,” principal Carla Gasway said. “Technology Services is to do the internet cabling, and Facilities is to do the electrical work. The campus does not have the funds to pay for the electrical work.” Originally the wiring for the computers was to be installed with funds stemming from the school’s Title 1 status, but when that status was taken away and the TRE Bond failed to pass, the GO Center was put on hold. “Now we’re going to put wireless cards into the [computers] and set an access point in that room,” EPISD chief technology officer Stephen Stiles said. “The network part of it will cost about $3,000. I don’t know what the electrical side is going to be, [but] we need power in that room.” Currently Franklin is the only school in EPISD that does not have an operating GO Center and counselor Bonnie Mclaughlin sees a need for it to be completed. “We need to have the Go Center. It’s there, the computers are there, everything is set up; it’s just not operable,” Mclaughlin said. UTEP student Michelle Gonzalez, who works three days a week to assist students with college processes, is supposed to be in charge of the GO Center, but since it is not working, she is forced to work out of a small space in the counselor’s office. “[S133] is supposed to be used so that Michelle can call kids in or they can find her,” Mclaughlin said. “Last year we had a Go Center person for the second semester, but we didn’t have computers at that time. Now we have computers and we have the room; we just don’t have them set up.” EPISD officials are working on having the GO Center set up by early next semester. “As far as a time frame, we will probably have the network [and electrical] side [set up] pretty comfortably by the end of January,” Stiles said.
As computers in room S133 sit in isolation, counselors and students await the day EPISD is able to fund wiring the GO Center. The lab will be used to help students with college processes. photo by Lisa Bibbo
Seniors Nelson Boland and team captain Bobby De La Rosa, along with junior Natalie Felsen, compete in a televised KCOS match. The team remains undefeated in KCOS tournament play. photo by Vanessa Thai
High Q qualifies for Nationals | ALEKSEY ZEBROWSKI | reporter ensions are high. Franklin is down one question with only one more to go. All eyes are on the buzzers. The reader asks the final question – “A sphere has a radius of 2/3. Find the volume of the sphere.” BUZZ! Senior Nelson Boland slams on the buzzer. With Boland’s correct answer, the High Q team double qualified a four-competitor team to nationals by beating El Paso High 185-180 in the semifinals. Nationals will be held in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend. This victory was welcomed after a few close matches. The team had taken second place earlier at an Ysleta tournament in October and again at the Chapin competition in November. However, in the end, these second place wins would help. Though the team will not be able to attend Chicago’s national tournament due to lack of funding, seniors Alejandro Marquez and Nelson Boland, junior Natalie Felsen and freshman Emily Felsen will be competing at an undetermined location. For the team, qualifying for nationals was a substantial feat. “Qualifying for nationals was an incredible experience; we weren’t even sure if we were going to qualify this year,” Boland said. “But because we finished second in two tournaments, we qualified.” The Borderland offers tight competition, team members say. “There are three powerhouses: Franklin, El Paso High and Coronado,” Boland said. “We’ve beaten El Paso High twice and Coronado once. Coronado is doing a bit better than us, but we’ll beat them.” Sponsor Rachel Anderson has dedicated herself to High Q for three years and knows the strong competition they face at nationals. “The competition is so stiff at nationals,” Anderson said. “We’re talking about kids that probably never leave the basements of their own homes.” In order to prepare her students for the
challenges that lie ahead at Nationals, Anderson has provided guidance and tips on how they may improve. “There is no official plan put forth by our National Academic Quiz Tournament that students need to know, but we do all sorts of things to prepare,” Anderson said. “Students study all sorts of things from the Bible, literature or science magazines. I will also assign them periods of history, literature or movements in music or art.” In order to rise to the top of the brackets, the team has had to broaden its knowledge bases and work diligently to keep in touch with numerous subjects. “We have our practices in Mrs. Anderson’s room twice a week, but besides that, we just soak up information from everywhere,” Marquez said. “There’s not much more you can do.” Unlike Marquez, Boland has found various ways of improving his knowledge and intellect by watching TV and surfing the web. “I watch Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, things like that,” Boland said. However, the team’s natural talent and hard work isn’t the only thing that make it strong; the team members respect and admire one another. “I love my team,” Felsen said. “My little sister is on the team – she’s a freshman and I’m excited about that. Nelson and Ale are inspiring and our team captain, Bobby de la Rosa, is also brilliant. It’s great to be in such good company.” With hard work coupled with talent, the team expects to perform well and learn a great deal, despite being a rookie team. “We always try to have a 5:5 score,” Anderson said. “But for us, it’s mostly about the experience and the exposure to that high level of competition.” Regardless of the outcome, the national qualifying team will pack a punch into nationals this May. “We go, we play and do our best,” Marquez said. “We do what we can with what we’ve got, and we have a lot.”
Freshman competes in KCOS tournament | NATALIE FELSEN | opinions editor espite her youth, freshman Emily Felsen has already broken barriers within the realm of High Q. Felsen was chosen to compete on the KCOS team, the only freshman ever selected Emily Felsen by High Q sponsor Rachel Anderson. ”Emily is one of our strongest competitors,” Anderson said. “Her skills give us a well-rounded team.” For her part, Felsen says she experienced mixed feelings upon learning of her selection. ”When I discovered that I was the only freshman Mrs. Anderson has ever played for KCOS, I was both scared and proud; scared that I would make a fool out of myself on live television, but proud because I [get to] represent Franklin,” Felsen said. Anderson believes that Felsen will only grow in competitive strength. ”Emily has done beautifully at tournaments,” Anderson said. “She has only improved with the experience that she has gained from tournament play.”
UTEP grants scholarships Six students were presented with scholarships for the University of Texas El Paso on Dec. 10. Laurel Mohrman, Valeria Contreras, Claudia Preza, Rebecca Brady and Stephanie McGuire were awarded the Presidential Scholarship. Krisalyn Kucklock was awarded the Academic Scholarship. photo by Ian Baker
In perfect alignment, the unarmed drill team performs a routine in the Golden Corral parking lot. photo by Octavio Lopez
Golden Corral, JROTC give back to veterans | NICOLE ROSEN | reporter
hen veteran Roy Aldridge walked into Golden Corral on Nov. 15, he was greeted with JROTC officers ready to escort him to his table and a hot, free meal. Aldridge, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnamese Wars, was deeply humbled. “I have always been a firm supporter of JROTC,” Aldridge said. “They have always done an outstanding job, and I’m very proud of them.” Fellow WWII veteran John Hughes agrees. “I’m proud of the young people dedicating themselves,” Hughes said. “I hope that they won’t go through conflict or lose their friends through a war.” Though Veterans Day occurs on Nov. 11, Golden Corral chose to honor servicemen
and women on the following Monday. “Golden Corral called us. We were happy to oblige them and come out and salute our veterans,” Master Sergeant Del Rio said. “I’ve been doing this for 13 years and I’ve always been willing to honor our veterans.” Golden Corral served free meals to veterans and their families, while the armed and unarmed JROTC drill teams performed routines in the parking lot, and waited on tables. “They served our country, and we’re just giving back what they need,” technical sergeant Robert Whitaker said. “Each year just gets tougher with figuring out what job needs to be done. If it needs to be done, do it.” For many of the JROTC
officers, serving the veterans is an important milestone in their high school ROTC career. “It’s a great feeling serving
Shaking Roy Aldridge’s hand, SrAmn. Darias Belzer serves veterans at Golden Corral. Aldridge is a veteran of the Korean and Vietnamese wars. photo by Octavio Lopez
our veterans,” lieutenant colonel Kimberly Rohrer said. “They served us and we’re only doing a small part here tonight.”
JROTC raises money for Military Ball | NICOLE ROSEN | reporter
L Counting donations, cadet first lieutenant Zach Ferguson organized a fundraising event at Wal-Mart. He is flanked by Tanner Olsen, Alberto Reyes and Sawyer Seibell. “The community has responded well. We had past veterans who helped us, donating money and time,” Ferguson said. photo by LIsa Bibbo
ieutenant colonel Kimberly Rohrer stands outside of Wal-Mart on a Saturday morning, asking customers for donations. It is Dec. 4 and the JROTC is holding its yearly fundraiser. “The goal of this fundraiser is to raise money for our junior Air Force ROTC program,” Rohrer said. “This will also help the program’s military ball and any other expenses.”
JROTC cadets raised $800, which will pay for the ballroom, but not the entire event. Because of state regulations on selling food items, the JROTC relies on donations from the community. “We started doing this because we can’t fundraise by selling candy or anything with sugar,” Master Sergeant Del Rio said. “We are very limited with fundraising at the school, so we had to revert to this.”
Unfortunately, the JROTC did not reach the $1,000 goal, but still, cadets remain positive. “We haven’t exactly reached our goal but we still have time,” cadet first lieutenant Zach Ferguson said. The Military Ball will not be held until the spring. “We would like $1,000,” Del Rio said. “The fundraising is going alright, but we’re not here to get rich.”
SBOE determines inclusion of world religions in textbooks | SARAH SKIRMONT | news editor
Conversing with friends at lunch, senior Edwin Vasquez recalls a time when El Paso’s sister city was his home. “Juarez and El Paso are totally different from one another, there’s no point of comparison,” Vasquez said. “But three years ago, it was really secure, you could hang out with your friends and didn’t have to worry about curfew. There was a lot more freedom back then.” photo by Lisa Bibbo
STUDENTS SEEK SAFETY IN STATES
Counseling options offered | ALEXIS CAIN | reporter
s senior Gerson Baeza reflects on the past two years of his life, he is haunted with memories of his life in Juarez, Mexico. Due to the ongoing violence that began in 2007, he and his family were forced to seek refuge in the U.S. “Two years ago the violence wasn’t [as] strong as today, but it was starting. People wanted to kill me and my family, so my parents decided to move here and start a new and better life,” Baeza said. “Living here has really changed my viewpoint on life.” Baeza’s story is similar to that of thousands of students attending public schools in El Paso who have been forced to migrate to the U.S. in order to escape the escalating violence in Juarez. For senior Edwin Vasquez, the move has not only provided a safe haven, but motivation to succeed. “Moving to El Paso was wonderful. Learning English and attending a new school is a whole new experience for me,” Vasquez said. “Since being here I’ve become more ambitious. I feel like I can do whatever I want and because of that I am determined to go off to a university after high school.” Students say they had more freedom before the drug war erupted in Cuidad, Juarez when strict curfews and shootings were rare. According to the Los Angeles
Times, since Jan. 2007, there have been an estimated 28,228 drug-war related deaths. The number of murders exploded after Mexican president Felipe Calderon declared war on drug traffickers. “There are people that come from Mexico that have been affected by deaths of someone close to them,” Baeza said. “Sometimes they can’t get over it and need a lot of help.” Students who are grieving due to the violence that has accumulated in Juarez say that they welcome counseling opportunities offered at the school. “There are several reasons for me and my family leaving Juarez, besides the gun fights on the streets, my parents had also been threatened,” senior Mauricio Ceiceros said. “I think that the only hope that Juarez has against this violence is education for future generations.” Despite the violence that these students have witnessed, at-risk coordinator Isabelle Oaxaca believes that they will go on to succeed in the future. “Most of the students that have come over here and have been going to school are doing well,” Oaxaca said. “A lot of these students have the drive and may be the first to graduate in their family. I encourage them to continue to do their best.” If students are interested in counseling opportunities, they should see their counselors.
hen the Texas State Board of Education gathers to adopt new world history textbooks in January, the newest, non-binding equal treatment of all religions resolution will play into the process. Although the new resolution calls for equal treatment of all religions, there are allegations of omitting Islam from the curriculum due to recent disputes towards Muslims such as the Koran burning and the construction of the Cordoba House. “The latest resolution went against everything that the citizens in the state of Texas actually believe in,” state board of education vice chair Lawrence Allen said. “I don’t believe the resolution offered up anything of any value; it talked about things that were not substantiated at the [expense] of the Islamic community.” Despite Allen’s concern for “equal treatment” of all religions, he believes that using Muslim as a specific example of bias is a contradiction of their original goal to treat all religions alike. “There should be fair and balanced treatment of beliefs, but we don’t single out one particular religion to set the example,” Allen said. “The statement is clear within itself, that the state board of education would like the textbook curriculum to produce balance, without regards to race or religion.“ However, SBOE chair Gail Lowe disagrees with Allen’s stipulation. “We [adopted] the resolution because [we believe in] the balanced treatment of religious groups,” Lowe said. “We don’t have any [textbooks] in the works yet, but we expect various religious groups to be treated in a balanced, fair and accurate manner.” Although the board passed the resolution, the idea for equal treatment of all religions originated from a citizen from Odessa who presented documentation displaying evidence of bias to the board. “The documentation presented showed that Islam received twice as much coverage as information on the beliefs, practices and the holy writings of Christianity,” Lowe said. “When similar events were discussed in world history, Islam was presented in a very favorable light and Christianity was presented in a very negative light.” Despite this documentation, it was the omission of Islam that sparked controversy. “Some Islamic groups in Houston felt like the resolution sent a bad signal of the growing tension with the Muslim population and some large cities,” Allen said. “We just want to make sure that the language that we use is consistent with our citizens in Texas.” Advanced placement world history teacher James Barton agrees. “I think the resolution is coming out of fear, bias and a lack of understanding,” Barton said. “We have Muslim students at Franklin [and I am sure that they don’t feel comfortable when people are expressing anti-Muslim views.” Allen believes that if the resolution is a part of new textbooks, there will not be long term affects onto the school systems in Texas. “It will not [affect schools],” Allen said. “We depend on our educators to do the very best job in preparing our children [and] I believe [they] are making sure students are prepared for the world they are going to live in, and not the ideas and feelings of some individuals on the State Board of Education.”
SAVING LIVES One pint at a time | JENNIFER TELLEZ | reporter
t the annual winter blood drive held on Dec. 6, students showed their holiday spirit by continuing to be one of the leading schools in the country that participate in blood drives with United Blood Services. 347 units of blood were donated to help those in need of blood transfusions. “I’m very proud of Franklin and the kids that go here and I’m proud to be associated with it,” student activities manager Lisa Thompson said. “It’s a real team effort and shows that the kids have a lot of pride in their community and their school.” Although 360 students signed up, about 80 were deferred due to restrictions set by United Blood Services. “I have a history of being anemic, [which is] low iron levels in the body, so the
news didn’t come as a shock. Usually, I would take iron pills to curb the side effects, but I haven’t been taking them as of late,” senior Becca Brady said. First time donor, sophomore Liliana Rivera, had reservations about donating, and although she suffered from side effects, felt it was an honor to donate. “I did the one where they separate a lot of the plasma [from the blood]. I felt my tongue vibrate for twenty minutes and then my mouth vibrated,” sophomore Liliana Rivera said. “It feels [good] doing it and knowing that someone else is going to benefit from it.” Out of 651 schools nationwide that participate in drives with United Blood Services, Franklin has held some of the most successful
Standing at attention, the drumline prepares to march out onto the field for the annual Thunderdrum Challenge. The line took best front line, best quad line, best snare line and a first division in the stand still competition. photo by Briana Sanchez
Drumline takes multiple titles at Thunderdrums Competition
| AMANDA RODRIGUEZ | editor in chief
fter a successful marching season with the “Star of the West” band, the drumline branched out on its own to compete in the annual Thunderdrums Challenge hosted by Coronado High School on Nov. 6. Most years, the drumline chooses to create an entire new marching show in a short amount of time for Thunderdrums, but this year, the line, along with new teachers Amanda Trevizo and Daniel Reyes, decided to compete in the stand still competition instead of the marching competition In the stand still portion of the competition, the line was awarded a first division, best front line, best snare line and best quad line. Ultimately, the drumline fell short of the Grand Championship title but took first place in stand still.
Tightly clutching a stress ball, senior Lauren Estrada attempts to calm her nerves during the blood drive held Dec. 6. “I gave blood because a couple of years ago my cousin was in a bad accident and needed a blood transfusion,” Estrada said. photo by Briana Sanchez
drives in the past. “It is crucial to donate blood. One needle prick and 15 minutes later you saved a life,” Brady said. “I can’t find any reason [not] to donate.” While many suffer from nerves before donating, students understand the importance of giving blood. “I was a little bit nervous before I was set up, but after it was a really satisfying feeling,” senior Lauren Estrada said. Some students donate blood for
personal reasons rather than the usual intention of just giving back. “My best friend Margaret Hussmann passed away almost two years ago, and when she was going through treatments, she constantly needed blood transfusions and bone marrow; neither of which I was the compatible donor for,” Brady said. “Maybe my blood couldn’t have been used for her, but I know that another girl like Margaret is out there and maybe I’ll be able to help save her.”
Learn to Drive Driver Education (teens) $300 (10% if Paid in full January class) Adult Education (Must be 18 or older) $85 for one 6 hour course 4400 N. Mesa St. Ste. #3 (Westside Executive & Mesa) (915) 328-5001
section editor • natalie felsen [email@example.com]
Obama: drowning under a deluge of problems
| ALEKSEY ZEBROWSKI | reporter
hen Obama took the reins of the presidency from George W. Bush, the world yelled in approbation, shook in excitement, praised the heavens and sighed in relief. Less than two years later, the fervor that threw Obama into the Oval Office has died down to a whimper. Though shrouded by misconception and lacking in support, Obama has done a decent job in what is arguably the most difficult job in the world. To begin with, Obama inherited a plethora of problems: two wars, a crippled economy, rising healthcare costs and an uncooperative rival party. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, deservedly unpopular, are disasters. It’s not easy to withdraw tens of thousands of US and NATO troops without destabilizing either region or sending another battalion without incurring the world’s wrath – especially when lives are at stake and huge amounts of money are involved. Meanwhile, Obama faces
blame for disaster at home. Unemployment still remains at around ten percent, GDP growth is poor and the trade deficit is draining US coffers. This economic recession was a disaster waiting to happen. Though most recessions are caused by excess production, unfortunately for Obama, this one is what economist call a blanket sheet recession – a recession fuelled by gross public and government debt. Consequently, public spending and investment died while unemployment soared. Because blanket-sheet recessions cannot be fixed by fiscal or monetary policy, they are generally more resonating. One of the first things Obama did as President was take on healthcare. According to KaiserEDU.org, in 2008 healthcare costs was leeching out 16.2% of GDP and getting more expensive yearly. Meanwhile, millions of Americans remained without care. In what people have crudely termed “Obamacare”, Obama’s government healthcare
alternative was innovative (it was fatuously rejected by Republicans) and not the least bit socialist. Even more ridiculous was the ignorant rumor that Obama’s healthcare bill consisted of death panels. Since the beginning of his term, Obama has had to put up with an uncooperative Republican party. The GOP has taken upon itself to filibuster as much as possible without exercising much thought. In other words, they stop Obama’s policies from seeing daylight, making success unreachable for him. American voters must understand that Obama is not superman. He may hold the weight of the world on his shoulders, but it’s not always his to bear. He’s kept terrorists aloof, our economy afloat and has tried dealing with healthcare. He’s inherited more problems than a school textbook, and yet he receives little political help or support to fix them. If America really wants change, then it should begin by supporting its Commander in Chief.
on the news
Beginning with Black Friday, Americans celebrate Christmas by spending thousands of dollars on gifts. Do you feel this spending spree obscures the true meaning of Christmas? Has Christmas become too commercialized? Grace Mihaylov, 11
It’s good to be giving, but I think we forget the true meaning of Christmas, which is Christ’s birth. To a certain extent, it has become very commercialized.
Edgar Llamas, 10
Alex Wilts, 12
Christmas is about being with your family and showing that you love them, not necessarily by giving gifts. I don’t think Black Friday is undermining Christmas in any way.
I feel like people are losing the true meaning of Christmas. I went to the Black Friday sales, and there were lines of traffic. It seems people are making it about what they want instead of about Jesus’s birth.
Carl Black, teacher
I don’t think that buying gifts ruins the religious aspect of Christmas for people who are already religious. Giving by people who aren’t particularly religious isn’t a bad thing.
ith the recent loss of the Title I status and the failure of the TRE bond, it’s no surprise that administrators are emphasizing the mass return of federal census forms. The form allows the government to provide schools money for students who live on federal property or for students whose families do not pay property taxes. Over the last couple of weeks, announcements have been made continuously which warn students that 100 people will be taken to detention each day if they have not returned their form. The school should consider taking the reduced lunch forms as seriously as they take the federal census forms because they are one of the main factors that help decide which school gets the Title 1 status. It is hard to make such forms mandatory in the classroom since students’ grades cannot be negatively affected for failure to turn in the forms. Extra incentives for classes will help increase return rates. Currently, students are threatened with a punishment if their forms are not returned; while this system may be somewhat effective, many people do not take these threats seriously. Since the date of form distribution is determined by the federal government, it would be difficult to distribute the forms at an earlier time such as registration, where more parents would get the opportunity to see them. Instead, once the school is given the forms’ return-by date, they should implement a strict deadline that students must follow. Although the federal census forms and reduced lunch forms deal with completely different programs, they both have the potential to be major sources of money for the school. Completion of the reduced lunch forms should be made mandatory as well, to give the school a higher chance of receiving Title I status. It is extremely difficult for administrators to convince students to return forms when students aren’t really aware of what the forms will do for the school. Although some students would rather take punishments than return the forms, informing the student body about the importance of the forms may increase return rates. In upcoming years, education, set return dates and early distribution of forms will help the school gain as much money as possible from the government.
LETTER to the
Dear Editor, We certainly appreciate the concerns expressed in the Staff Outlook in regards to Credit by Exams and would like to clarify a few points. The process involved in ordering and administering Credit by Exams is as follows: 1. Student submits written request for CBE. 2. Student is either given a review for their CBE or a web address to download their own review. At this point, students are informed that they will be tested in approximately two months. 3. Franklin High School submits orders for Credit by Exams to Texas Tech University. 4. Franklin High School receives test orders approximately 4-6 weeks after the order is submitted. 5. Counselors organize test dates and send notices to students through classroom teachers. 6. Students who do not report for their exam are rescheduled if school personnel are unable to locate them on the day of the exam. 7. Exams are sent to Texas Tech University to be scored. 8. Franklin High School receives score reports from Texas Tech, notifies students of test results, and processes earned credit through the registrar’s office. We understand the desire to be given a test date assignment upon registering for an exam, but this
simply is not feasible. Some of the parameters involved in this process are not under our immediate control, as we are dependent on Texas Tech for the receipt of exams. In regards to test preparation, we’d like to reiterate the need to begin the test prep process as soon as a Credit by Exam is ordered. The ordering and scheduling process takes approximately two months and should allow an adequate window for test prep. On that note, tutoring for the Math Models exam was offered and announced at least a month before the November test. Also, please be aware that if you have ordered a foreign language exam, your testing window may be somewhat longer. These exams require the use of recorders and headphones and only a limited number of students can test in this category per day. We have ordered in excess of 200 exams in this category. The organization of Credit by Exams was previously handled by the EPISD Testing Center. It is a huge undertaking to implement the process at the campus level. Additionally, particularly on test days, counselors are consumed with the administrative needs involved. Unfortunately, this requires us to be away from our office and unavailable for students. We appreciate your patience as we refine this process and continue to meet the needs of students. — Charlton Archard, Counselor
Waiting for war
North Korea’s attack on South Korea may lead to second Korean War
| NATALIE FELSEN | opinions editor n Nov. 24, North Korea opened fire upon the South Korean island of Yeonpyong in what was the largest skirmish since the Korean War ended with an armistice nearly 60 years ago. The attack comes months after a North Korean torpedo sank the South Korean naval ship Cheonan, killing innocent civilians. At this point, alarm bells should be ringing in your head. Why is this episode so concerning? The Korean peninsula is half a world away; those events couldn’t possibly affect Americans, right? Wrong. We live in a global society, and we need to pay attention to the Koreans for one simple reason: North Korea has nukes. It’s no secret that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il is unstable. What’s keeping Hillary Clinton up at night is the fact that Kim has his finger on the proverbial red button, and he is itching to push it. North Korea has developed long-range missiles capable of reaching Alaska and potentially California in direct defiance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Given the recent attacks upon South Korea, it’s not a stretch to say that,
halltalk Who is Weihnachtsmann? Tyler Crupper, 11
O O O O O
“The Russian President.”
Rachel Murphy, 10
“A Disney princess.”
Carl McCaig, Fac.
“Mr. Houze’s name when he was an undercover government agent.” Diego Mejorado, 11
“A German emperor.”
Masaki Ward, 11
“The British prime minister.”
Brittney Rey, 10
despite his infirm condition, Kim wouldn’t hesitate to jump start a nuclear war. Even more troublesome is the fact that China, America’s mighty Communist rival, is North Korea’s regional ally. While the recent WikiLeaks debacle has shown that alliance to be less solid than previously thought, the fact is, China will back North Korea in a scuffle. Now, China, like North Korea, is in the process of transitioning power to diplomat Xi Jinping and Kim’s son Kim Jung Un, respectively. However, because the transition process places both countries in
precarious positions, China and North Korea will maintain their alliance for stability. This leaves South Korea squished between China’s nukes to the West and Kim’s Nukes to the North. President Lee Myung-Baek has vowed retaliation for the recent attacks, yet he has wisely delayed opening the second chapter of the Korean War. Unable to gain regional aid from struggling Japan, or distract Washington from its pressing domestic duties, Lee must simply sit tight and wait. Unfortunately, the wait must end sooner or later.
Weihnachtsmann is the German name for Santa Claus. The word means “Christmas Man.” However, the Germans also have St. Nikolaus, who visits children on the night of Dec. 6. If they are good, he puts candies and chocolates in their boots. If they are bad, he puts potatoes, twigs or coal in them.
Facebook has changed the way we learn. Teachers have created pages to help their classes. The iPod is most helpful to me personally. It has a calculator, I can get youtube on it, and it an e-reader. • Jonathan Pinney, 12 Youtube is the best. Everyone’s always saying what’s the new clip? Have you seen that clip? There I go looking at the new clip! It keeps you updated by spreading the word about world news, so if you miss it on the news, you can go to youtube and look it up. • Daniela Chacon, 10
From fire to firewalls, Prometheus to playlists, humans are inventive Technology takes off in 2000s The past decade has witnessed changes that have changed our world forever. The year 2001 saw the advent of Wikipedia and the iPod; in 2004, Facebook debtued and youtube was launched in April 2005. January 2001 saw the advent of Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia with user-submitted information.
October 2001 saw the debut of the iPod, which allowed users to carry 1,000 digital songs in a device that fitted neatly into a pocket.
On youtube, I learned how to play guitar, and how to make sushi. You can learn anything on youtube. • Marcos Hernandez, 10 Facebook has changed what should be an easy way to connect with friends into a socially acceptable P e o p l e magazine gossip column. However, Facebook can be a lifesaver when it’s midnight before a project is due and you happened to forget the project. But Twitter? I do too much and I’m constantly running. I don’t have time to tweet every detail of my life. • Becca Brady, Lisa Webb, 12 My iPhone is most useful. I use it as a calendar, an alarm clock, for sending email and text messaging. Wikipedia is the least useful because I find the information to be both incorrect and opinionated. • Olivia Manning, 12
February 2004 witnessed the founding of Facebook, a social network now used by over 500 million people. Video-sharing venue Youtube debuted in April 2005, enabling individuals to achieve 15 minutes of fame. November 2007 beheld the rise of the Amazon Kindle, which as the world’s first portable e-reader enabled literati to instantly downloaded readable material.
Barnes & Noble unveiled the Nook in November 2009; the device combined the portability of an e-reader with Barnes & Noble’s varied library.
| ALEKSEY ZEBROWSKI | reporter fter the Titans were cast into Tartarus, Zeus entrusted Prometheus to make man. Prometheus molded man out of clay and water, and in the process, grew fond of man. Fearing that man would become powerful, Zeus prohibited man from getting fire. However, Prometheus, wanting to help his creation, stole Zeus’ lightning-bolt, Hephaestus’ metalworking skill and Athena’s wisdom and gave it to man. Man was set to craft technology. Humanity’s addiction to technology and adeptness in creating it has only grown in the thousands of years since this myth was told. Fueled by our fear of global warming and go-green initiatives, governments and private scientists have been searching for ways to create energy without waste. Green coal technology, solar energy, and wind energy have been the most prominent and impactful. Though government subsidized and still in need of improvement, these innovations reflect the future – a clean future. When guns were thrust into the battlefield, the entire dynamic of war changed. Today, computers are our swords. Now that computers are more advanced and most advanced weapons are controlled by computers, cyber warfare has become a necessity. Hackers from all over the globe have been furiously working to breach one another’s defense systems or to steal top-secret information. For example, the Stuxnet virus – anonymously sent - attacked Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Plant in an attempt to disable in October of this year. The war is on. In this decade, many companies have fallen and many have risen, but none have gained as much momentum as Apple Inc. The Apple kingdom, built upon Macs, iPods, iPhones and iPads, has spurred great excitement and left the all-powerful Microsoft in the dust. In 2000, Bill Gates was retiring a billionaire while Apple shares were worth a modest $4. With the decade coming to an end this year, Microsoft stock rose to a modest $27 per share and their sales are $65.8 billion; while Apple, after a decade, has stock worth $318 per share and sales reaching $65.2 billion. Apple products are inciting companies to make innovative devices with touchscreen interfaces, music capabilities and internet connectivity. For Prometheus, his gift to man came at a great cost; he was tied to a cliff where an eagle would feast on his regenerating liver. Let that serve as a caveat so that man may use his power well, lest our fiery gift of creative intelligence consume us.
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| AMANDA RODRIGUEZ | editor in chief | STEPHANIE AVALOS | editor in chief
Student creates clothing line to fund college
hirts with the word “Hubla” written across the chest will soon be seen throughout the halls, but you won’t be able to find these shirts at a popular store in the mall. Instead you will have to search the web for senior Oscar Ruiz’s clothing line website, hubla.bigcartel.com. “I just released my clothing line [a few weeks ago] and now I’m just building it anyway I possibly can,” Ruiz said. “If I meet someone new I’ll automatically tell them about [the line] before I tell them my name. I network through facebook, twitter, tumblr, myspace and my own webpage.” Hubla currently includes inexpensive shirts and totes, but Ruiz plans to provide a larger range of clothing to customers in the near future. “Right now everything is under $20. I’m going to come out with hoodies that will be about $25,” Ruiz said. “They’re going to be specially made for girls and boys, it’s going to be the only clothing that’s not unisex.” Ruiz began designing and printing clothes over a year ago. When he first started he created and produced everything himself, but he has since upgraded to a printing company out of Florida. “When I first started [the line], I made my own stencils and printed them in my own house. It was horrible quality,” Ruiz said. “Now, I have a printer in Florida that’s printing my clothes. [The printer], Head North Printing, helps independent clothing lines. Their clothes are very cheap and they’re printing is amazing.” Although Ruiz plans to use most of his profits to fund his college, each month he plans to donate a portion of his profits to a different charity. “Once I get all of the profits I’m going to give a portion to the printer and I’ll probably give about half of my own profits to charity,” Ruiz said. “I need to have a contract signed with them so I can’t donate from Hubla, [just from] my own pocket.” Ruiz has been trying to start Hubla for about a year. Ruiz’s best friend, senior Nick Gutierrez, has watched as his hobby for drawing turned into a career opportunity. “What he does is original. It’s good that especially as student, he has something that he’s passionate about,” Gutierrez said. “I bought a shirt to support him and to support his passion.” Even though the clothing line will provide an income for Ruiz, his main purpose of creating clothes is to bring people together. “I want to make clothes that are unisex. My inspiration is anything that I think would catch someone’s attention, anything that I like, or that’s silly or fun,” Ruiz said. “I hope to just tie the world together.”
Sporting one of his earliest designs, senior Oscar Ruiz shows off one of the shirts featured in his clothing line, Hubla. “My first drawing was a couch and a tv stand. It was supposed to be a guy watching tv but I got the idea to switch it to a tv watching a guy so I drew a head on a tv stand and a tv with long, lanky legs,” Ruiz said. photo by Octavio Lopez
Holding up the December/January issue of Teen Vogue, junior Blithe Parsons shows off her new room that she won in an essay competition. ““My parents were really thrilled.” Parsons said. “I told them that I had applied for [the competition] very lightly during dinner conversation, and when I won, my mom was so excited.” photo by Briana Sanchez
El Paso newcomer wins national contest
| HAE RIN MA | business manager
s junior Blithe Parsons steps into her room, she is delighted to see her hand-me-down furniture and sheets replaced by those of eccentric and vibrant colors. After winning a room makeover competition, Parsons is featured in the December/January issue of Teen Vogue. After recently moving from West Palm Beach, Florida, Parsons thought it would be a perfect time to have her room redecorated by the interior designers at Teen Vogue. “I was online and went to the Teen Vogue website where I saw that they had a room makeover so I decided to apply,” Parsons said. “I had won a blog earlier in the summer and I figured, ‘hey if I can win a small contest, I can probably win a big contest.’” The competition required applicants to send in an essay along with photos of their room. “The essay’s prompt was, ‘what do you want done to your room’ and ‘why you deserve this room makeover,’” Parsons said. “I wrote a lot about needing a place to store my art stuff and multitude of clothing.” Out of the three people selected for a room makeover, Parsons was named the second place winner. However, had she mot moved, she may not have won. “One girl that won lives in Port Saint Lucie, Florida and just five months ago I was living about thirty minutes from there,” Parsons said. “The fact that I moved to El Paso really increased my chances of winning because they wouldn’t have chosen people within the same radius.” The interior designers from Teen Vogue worked under a time crunch of only one weekend. “The staff was working nonstop Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; they were finishing setting up everything and making sure [the room] was just perfect,” Parsons said. “In the magazine, you can see my reaction and I just have my hands over my chest gasping; I couldn’t stop smiling.”
once religious, Christmas is now a consumer holiday
( | RHIANNA TAPIA | features editor
andering the aisles of the Outlet Mall, senior Anahi Millot peers through the glass windows of flooded stores. Customers inside shove past each other and dart to shelves and racks for the best quality gift: the packaging that isn’t torn or the last dress in that size. At the registers, she sees another swipe of a card, continuous rummaging through wallets for cash, and can hear the final rustling of bags ring the sound of the new age “Silver Bells.” This can only mean one thing. Christmas is near. “It’s strange how the whole concept of Christmas has changed,” Millot said. “I remember being a little girl and talking to my friends about what I asked Santa
Senior Nick Gutierrez believes that large corporations prey on major religious holidays such as Christmas, in order to draw in more business revenue. “Christmas has become more of a secular and consumerist holiday,” Gutierrez said. “It has become an opportunity for businesses to make money, just as much as consumers believe Christmas is a time to be joyful and spend time with family. Corporations use these [holidays] to their advantage in order to appeal to the emotional side of customers.” Similarly, social studies teacher Andrea DiCara feels that Christmas has become nothing short of a commercial holiday. “Christmas has become nothing more than a competition to outdo everyone with lights and gifts,” DiCara said. “It doesn’t even have anything to do with religion anymore. In my opinion, people are
“I admit that it’s hard not to get swept up into the Christmas frenzy, but sometimes I just have to stop and think about what Christmas really means to me, the birth of Jesus Christ,” Millot said. “With all the sales and lists of people to buy for, it’s hard to remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, but I think that we need to learn or we’re in for a complete commercial holiday.” Gutierrez concurs, finding that reciting a special prayer on Christmas helps bring back the true meaning of the day. “I say a special prayer and remember that Christmas means something more because it honors the birth of Jesus Christ,” Gutierrez said. “Even for people that go to church, priorities fall. Shopping lights, the right food and gifts can get in the way of remembering what Christmas is truly about. Sadly, I’m just as guilty.”
Claus for and what kind of cookies I was going to leave out for him. Now, all I really ever hear about is how everyone has to get to the stores before they run out of all the good merchandise.” According to Snopes.com, a myth disclaiming website that provides facts in order to justify rumors, the busiest shopping day of the year falls roughly on the Saturday before Christmas with Black Friday coming in at a close second.
leaving the religious aspect out because the church isn’t serving the needs of the people, so the people find their happiness through consumerism.” According to About.com, the top five reasons why people feel the urge to spend during the holidays is due to ignorance of exactly how much money is being spent, the idea that gifts represent love, the pressure of being a giving person, meeting expectations and the misconception that everyone else is doing the same.
Despite the secular light that Christmas has shed, Millot believes that with a little hope, Christmas can be restored to its full glory. “Throughout the years, I’ve learned that no amount of money can buy you the happiness that Christmas actually stands for,” Millot said. “People have good intentions when they’re buying gifts for each other, but they should focus on spending time with each other and celebrating the birth of our savior because you can’t stick a price tag on memories.”
The reason for the season | CAMI GONZALEZ | entertainment editor |BLITHE PARSONS | reporter
hile her mother puts the finishing touches on the Christmas tree and her family gathers in the kitchen, senior Crystalblue Gaytan prepares for an annual tradition she holds dear. Every year, Gaytan and her 20 cousins bake a cake for Jesus and dress it with colored sprinkles; it is their way of celebrating Christmas. They believe that the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ, so each year they sing happy birthday to him. Brought up in the Christian faith, Gaytan stands whole-heartedly behind her beliefs around the holiday season. “Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which is the basis for the Christian faith,” Gaytan said. “In a lot of ways, Christmas has become a joke. It has turned into a franchise. People are trying to make money off of something that started off as holy and now it’s just verging so far away.” Gaytan would like to see Christmas return to its original, more humble origins. “I wish people could see the true meaning of what it stands for, have the sense to be more radical and go back to
the original beliefs of Christmas and give some sort of remembrance or tribute to the real meaning,” Gaytan said. “It has become watered down to the point that it is just a holiday, instead of a celebration and a remembrance.” Like Gaytan, Coronado Baptist Church youth pastor Murray Van Gundy finds that Christmas is the sanctity of the birth of Christ. “The church’s role in Christmas is to show the importance of Jesus’ birth,” Van Gundy said. “Not for the sake of his birth, but for the sake of his death. Because without His death and resurrection, his birth is insignificant.” Gaytan and her family, aside from going to church every week, also attend the Christmas Eve services annually. But they are in the minority. According to religioustolerance.org, about 180 million Americans attend Christmas masses. However, only an estimated 20 percent are weekly churchgoers. Many Americans have found an alternative cause for celebration. “Americans have taken a religious holiday and seen a money-making opportunity,” Sarah Campbell, copresident of the Christian group FOG
(Followers of God), said. “The people who aren’t so religious see Christmas as more of a chance to give gifts. If all they’re doing is giving gifts, they’re taking the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas.” Pastor Van Gundy agrees. “Consumerism is cheap in God’s grace,” Van Gundy said. While Gaytan doesn’t condemn consumerism or American culture, she does see its shortcomings. “I do believe that [consumerism] helps in certain ways. I don’t think that it is completely terrible,” Gaytan said. “But I do think that it has a really strong hold, especially on America, and that Americans’ consumerist minds are just filled up even more in a way that giving and getting presents isn’t bad for Christmas; but they take it so far in extent that people are just becoming materialistic and everything is about money and people are on the verge of debt. It’s getting ridiculous.” Van Gundy is unhappy with the way in which political correctness has affected American culture. “[The media] says that you can’t even go to Home Depot and have the workers say, ‘Merry Christmas,’” Van Gundy said. “It’s not about ‘holidays; it’s about the birth of Christ.”
The height of the holiday shopping season begins with Black Friday and goes until Christmas Day. At the Outlet Shoppes of El Paso, shoppers flood the stores in search of gifts and bargains. According to infoplease.com, retail sales in department stores during the Christmas season of 2009 totaled 23.4 billion. photos by Briana Sanchez and Danielle Zaragoza
Facial hair ‘fur’ a good cause | CAMI GONZALEZ | entertainment editor | BLITHE PARSONS | reporter
Holding a razor in his hand, senior Daniel Paget is in the midst of shaving off a month’s worth of growth. photo by Cami Gonzalez
or senior Daniel Paget, growing a beard was easy. Wait a few weeks and watch it sprout. But Paget, along with several dozen males at the school, had a more important cause in mind than just developing facial fur. The unshaven participated in No Shave November, an event that is actually the offspring of an original plan to raise money for men’s health by testing the length in which the founders could grow out their moustaches. After seven years, it seems the movement for men’s health has regressed into a social experiment. “I originally found out about No Shave November from my friends. Back around October they brought it up, and the more we talked about doing it, and the more we all got pumped up to do it,” Paget said. According to the website movember.com, the event “Movember” was intended to raise money for prostate cancer research. It was created in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 as a result from a round of drinks and some joking around. However, it had a goal in mind. Now, No Shave November, similar to Movember, has become a trend with the same idea. Students have not raised funds, but they understand they are producing beards for recognition of a good cause. “It’s for prostate cancer so people are more aware of it,” senior Oscar Ruiz said. “I’m doing it for acknowledgement.”
Some find that it is also a time and moneysaver, allowing the month of November to be cost effective in the process. “It’ll even save money on shaving cream and razors,” junior Adrian Gonzalez said. Peers of the unshaven question the hygiene or attractiveness of the chosen scruffiness. Sophomore Octavio Lopez’s mother feels uneasy about the “project.” “My mom hates it,” Lopez said. “She says I look like a hobo.” For Paget, there are several simple, yet highly effective, outcomes of growing facial fur. “Some of the best advantages are being able to pull off a nice beard, and look rugged and cool. Also it helps to make you look older, and sometimes that can help. My personal favorite is that it helps keep your face warm in winter,” Paget said. Paget says that beardedness is equal to manliness. “The greatest part about No Shave November would probably have to be the reactions from everyone when they see me with my beard. I think I speak for every guy when I say beards just make you awesome,’ Paget said. “Everyone comes up to me and wants to touch my face, which is really random and hilarious. Lots of my friends and acquaintances say that I look darn good with a beard, or they’re jealous.”
Jourdan Harper has had a beard throughout most of high school. When the month of November ended, he did not shave his beard. “I decided to keep it for Decembeard,” Harper said. “And Manuary is a definite possibility.” photo by Blithe Parsons
Teacher heads for Las Vegas
A favorite of many students, English teacher Wyndi Charlton is a project-based teacher. Some projects included keeping a Puritan journal and creating sculptures to better remember vocabulary. photo by Blithe Parsons
|BLITHE PARSONS | reporter
s the winter break comes to a close, teacher Wyndi Charlton will be waving goodbye to students, Franklin and her Red Sox bulletin board.
“Franklin has become my second home,” Charlton said. “One that I am very sad to leave.” Charlton has been teaching for 13 years, six of which have been
at Franklin. She teaches English and visual media, and she recently became the sponsor of the school’s first Fashion Club. “I’ll mainly miss [Mrs. Charlton’s] ways of teaching,” junior Coby Michell, a current AP English student, said. “Her optimistic look on life always turned a bad day into a good one,” Charlton will leave El Paso due to her husband’s job transfer to Las Vegas. Her husband is a Secret Service agent. Their new home will be not far from the downtown city, but it will be in a close enough vicinity for her to experience all that the city has to offer. “Obviously, the ‘strip’ life is vastly different from El Paso,” Charlton said. “We will be about 30 minutes from all that hustle and bustle.”
Although Charlton will miss the life she has created in El Paso and the bonds she has made with students, her response to moving has changed from shock to acceptance. “No matter that the roster changes every year, students never cease to amaze and teach me,” Charlton said. “I have grown as an educator because of my students’ dedication and apathy, courage and fear, and most of all knowledge and naiveté.” Students say that they will miss her bubbly nature, her charismatic nature and her quirky laugh. “I’m glad that I had her as a teacher. English isn’t my best subject, but I’m glad I took her AP class because she made it interesting,” junior Shanna Feathers said.
The gift of giving Teacher Laura Strelzin, who was named ‘Turkey of the Year’, used her prize of a frozen turkey and pie to help a family in need. Her campaigning not only proved victorious, but set a new record for ‘Turkey of the Year’ sales for FBLA. “I didn’t want to keep [the prize] for myself knowing somebody else could have it,” Strelzin said. photo by Briana Sanchez
Turkey of the Year gives away Thanksgiving prize | STEPHANIE AVALOS | editor in chief
or Turkey of the Year winner, social studies teacher Laura Strelzin, her true award came when she gave her prize of a $50 gift certificate to Honey Baked Ham, a pie and a side, away to a family in need during the Thanksgiving holiday. “My main focus on winning Turkey of the Year was for a family who wanted to escape the violence of their small town in Mexico. The husband found a job here in El Paso and in the process of moving a drug gang came and kidnapped the wife and took their U-Haul,” Strelzin said. “They demanded ten thousand dollars [so] the husband borrowed the money from his new employer. He went back to Mexico to pay but the drug gang ended up killing his wife anyway and taking the U-Haul with all of their belongings.” Strelzin didn’t want to leave the family in disappointment if she didn’t end up winning so she created a back up plan in advance. “A student of mine, Jennifer Schlack, had a friend who works at a grocery store and got me a turkey to give to the family along with the Turkey of the Year prize so the family could freeze the ham and use one for either holiday. [The family] didn’t expect it at all, I had never met them or known them,” Strelzin said. “I personally delivered the food items to the family and the grandmother and her grandchildren happened to be there, they each gave me a hug and kiss.” Even though Strelzin didn’t inform the student body of her intentions, she still appreciates their votes. “I was very excited and humbled that the students and faculty would want me to be their turkey,” Strelzin said. “I want to say thank you to everyone who voted for me; they have the satisfaction of knowing that they helped another family in need.” The satisfaction felt by Strelzin was also shared with the organizers of Turkey of the Year, the Future Business Leaders of America. “We fundraised double what we’ve usually made from the past,” FBLA sponsor Janelle Poe said. “This is the most successful year that we’ve had, it was Ms. Strelzin’s strong campaigning [that] made it happen.”
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Christmas album less than gleeful | CAMI GONZALEZ | entertainment editor
FROM MOUNTAINS The band’s name originates from the mountains of El Paso. After finishing their third show in Roswell, NM, the band members say they are becoming more in touch with God, like many new artists, by finding the sacred in scream. photos by Vanessa Thai, illustration by Oscar Ruiz
Band uses screamo to express positive message | CAMILLE CYR | reporter With a scream emitting from his tall, thin frame, lead singer Oscar Ruiz roars lyrics that are almost imperceptible. But it doesn’t matter. He is a man on a mission. Ruiz, along with fellow band members, are passionate about music, and their maker. Hence, the four members of the band produce music with a Christian message. Simply put, they find the sacred in the scream. “I have conversations with God through my music. The lyrics can be interpreted in different ways by different people with different views,” Ruiz said. If chemistry is about stirring up components and melding them together, then that’s exactly what happened at the beginning of the year in Mr. Summer’s chemistry class when Ruiz met drummer Wesley Krepps. “Mr. Summers had asked us what we all do and I said drums, and Oscar was like; ‘Me and you after class,’” drummer Wesley Krepps said. Then new members were introduced including guitarist Salvador Sandoval and bass guitarist Del Perez. The trio had similar musical tastes and they fell in love with the music played by a boy who walked around school with his guitar, so they invited Alex Gaskie on board. Although they play Christian music and believe in God, they’re not all Christian. “I took it upon myself to talk about God. I still ask my band because they’re up there
on stage with me, so if God puts himself in my lyrics then he comes out in the song,” Ruiz said. “My lyrics aren’t Christian, but they’re influenced by Christian views.” Other bands such as Skillet, a mainstream alternative band, or hard-core rock bands like Red and Underoath also scream about God, but are sometimes misinterpreted. “When people find out God comes out in my music, they criticize me like my music is Satanic. If it’s about God, why do you scream? It’s a passion; we’re not just doing it for nothing, we’re doing it because we love it,” Ruiz said Sandoval, the guitarist, was called in by Ruiz to join the band. Ruiz and Sandoval are previous band mates from The Seventh Cavalry; after that band split, Ruiz called in Sandoval to assist. “We try to give out good messages, keep up what gets everyone going, whether it’s love, hope, faith, or just good times,” Sandoval said. “It’s a great way of expressing faith, but I wouldn’t consider our music Christian since what we aim for is not just targeting Christians but everyone who believes in God.” Krepps describes his band mates as a family where everyone contributes, everyone writes, and everyone plays. “The lyrics we write is about everyday things, “Krepps said. From Mountains speaks of hope when they write and that is what they play. They play the song of hope. “If you listen we have strong emotions about it and we have to yell because it’s a serious thing,” Krepps said. “It’s something to yell about.”
ast members of the hit TV show Glee anchor their holiday spirits this season with the release of a Christmas album, which conveys well known songs such as “Jingle Bells,” “Oh Holy Night,” and “Baby, its cold outphoto courtesy of fox.com side.” The album was released Nov 16. Just before it came out, whispers under the tree were saying it was to be the best selling record of all time. The album will definitely go down in history, but only as what it really is-- the worst Christmas album ever produced. Most of the songs sound as if they were thrown together at the last minute in a strategy to make quick money off the show’s popularity. After listening to the album several times, full of disbelief at its foulness, I came to the conclusion that it is basically Kids Bop for adults. In short, the record lacks Christmas charm and the polish we have come to expect from this musically prodigious group. While a couple of tracks are passable, the majority fall far short. If I were the Grinch, I’d be grumpy too after hearing this album. The tenth track, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch, was completely bastardized. The song was originally released in 1966, written by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel and performed by Thurl Ravescroft, in the cartoon special How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and is a classic holiday favorite. On the other side of the mistletoe, this review can’t be all negative. The Glee cast’s version of “Last Christmas” is somewhat acceptable. As a song that has been covered by artists such as Carrie Underwood and Coldplay, “Last Christmas” was first performed by British band, Wham and holds the position as the sixth track on the album. There have been some controversial comments about one of the actresses, Lea Michele, and the fact that she is of Jewish decent and singing Christmas songs. Bottom line, if she agreed to contribute to the album, then that’s her choice. Some fans don’t seem to think of it that way and have been making crude remarks about her “hypocrisy” over the Internet since the album’s release. It seems that everyone and their grandmother’s dog has released a Christmas album over the past couple of years, unless you’re Mariah Carey who’s released two. This only adds to the conspiracy that Christmas is no longer a cheerful holiday to spend with the ones you love the most; it is a franchise, a scheming plot to make money. Even though Christmas albums can only go so far, Glee could’ve done better. Week after week, they set the bar even higher in their musical comedy-drama. This album is nothing but hodgepodge and has completely tarnished the very name of Glee.
Proudly standing on stage, students of the guitar program give thanks to the audience after the annual winter guitar concert (bottom left) Senior Jourdan Harper plays an original piece, “Acidity.” Harper, as well as others from the program, says that he plays for self-expression. (bottom center) Guitar teacher Stephan Schyga gives a short recap of the guitar program. (bottom right) Sophomore Ryan Norton begins to play his composition, “Day Dream” on electric guitar. The majority of the songs featured in the concert were written by the guitar students. all photos by Briana Sanchez
| CAMI GONZALEZ | entertainment editor eaturing music from John Meyer and the Dixie Chicks, along with an arrangement of classical flamenco and self-composed songs performed by the top guitar students in the guitar program, the winter concert on Dec. 10 was an hour and a half of pure artistry. Proceeds from the concert are going used to buy new equipment. The opening song, “Spain,” is an upbeat melody by Chick Corea, a Spanish composer. It was performed by guitarists Ryan Norton, Nikolai Schyga, Abraham Marinelarena, Jourdan Harper, and David Flores, accompanied by Fransisco Cano on bass, Scott Lyon with percussion and Cesar Vargas playing the cello. Originally written as a quartet, “El Gato Montes” by Manuel Penella was brilliantly adapted to fit seven guitarists, Gabriel Hinojosa, Cesar Romero, Jesus Ochoa, Luis Rodriguez, Rion Thompson, Miguel Orta, and Alejandro Marquez. Diego Valdez accompanied by Pablo Morales on rhythm guitar covered “Gravity” by John Meyer. Valdez’s voice is amazingly soothing, and has an uncanny resemblance to Meyer’s own sonorous sound. Another amazing vocal/rhythm guitar duo was Andrea Flores and Celeste Concha, rendering a cover of the Dixie Chicks’ hit single, “Travelin’ Soldier.” The country oriented song was a refreshing, not-your-everyday performance. Guitar teacher Stephan Schyga took over the program in 2002 and since then has been dedicated to directing the artistic youths in his curriculum to step out of their shells and find a way to express themselves through music, not only by performing, but also through songwriting. Since age 10, Abraham Marinelarena has been Schyga’s student. He began with private lessons then joined the program his freshman year. Marinelarena was the first in the concert who performed an original piece. He wrote “Mi Hermana” and says the inspiration for the song came from his sister. “Aroma a Mujer,” translating into “Scent of a Woman,” was written by Miguel Orta. The song is reminiscent to an 80s soft ballad. Luis Rodriguez also performed one of his own songs, “Solitude.” It is a beautiful melody with the feeling of a lullaby. The song is gentle and is perfect for someone who wishes to just sit back and relax. Josh Saenz, singer of local band Ashes of Angels, showcased an original song, “Impulse,” and performed it beautifully. Briana Hernandez and Elizabeth Canales wrote the song “Those Days” in a collaborative effort. Hernandez’s rare voice has some Norah Jones repertoire about it; she definitely has raw talent. Every time she hit a high note, I got goose bumps. The combination of vocals and guitar was stunning. On electric, Ryan Norton composed a fast-paced, but mesmerizing tune, which is perfectly named “Day Dream,” and listening to it evokes the effect of traveling through space. The song is, simply stated, breathtaking. Jourdan Harper originally learned on the electric; it wasn’t until two years ago that he joined Schyga’s class and began playing with nylon string. About 80-90 percent of the music he plays is his own creation. Harper’s original piece, “Acidity,” is hypnotizing. I was a puppet and each note that Harper played served as my puppet master. The song is one of the most memorable from the concert. Overall, the guitar program delivered a stunning show. Those who didn’t go should be kicking themselves for missing out. Fortunately, there will be another concert in the spring; think of it as a second chance to witness brilliance.
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Disney’s Tangled weaves into an instant classic
photo courtesy of blogspot.com
| MEGAN CAHALAN | entertainment editor
I Director Ruben Reza directs the women’s chorus in “Peace, Peace,” a traditional song they perform yearly. photo by Octavio Lopez
Annual Christmas concert delights | FAITH PETTENGILL | reporter s the seats in the El Paso High Auditorium start filling up, the annual choir and orchestra holiday concert is about to begin. The show is always known to delight and provide an extra boost of seasonal spirit. In past years, the concert was held at the UTEP Auditorium, but was moved this year due to capacity troubles. The show started off on a whimsical note with the freshman orchestra and their three selections. Each song was a contrast to the next, showing a spectrum of talent from the young musicians. The same could be said for the string orchestra, who even used bongo drums for their classic piece, “Feliz Navidad.” The audience was electrified at the near flawless symphony strings, last to perform. Their first song, “Concerto Grosso Op. 6 Nr. 8” set the tone for a phenomenal performance. The women’s chorus followed the orchestra. Voices were clear and crisp and faces were bright and cheerful. The sentimental “Peace, Peace” is an annual tradition for the women’s chorus because of the audience interaction leading into “Silent Night.” The mixed chorus did not fail to amaze, especially on the accapella piece “Carol of the Bells.” The last two songs and personal favorites, “The 12 Songs of Christmas” and “Hallelujah Chorus” incorporated orchestra and choir together and are always crowd pleasers. Overall, the whole concert was a success and the hours of practice by students and directors were evident.
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t’s a milestone every teenager fears at one point: leaving the nest and venturing out on his or her own. Disney’s 50th animated film, Tangled, manages to capture the initial fear of independence, while appealing to audiences of all ages. A spin-off of the Brother’s Grimm fairytale Rapunzel, the film delivers in every aspect, from incredible animation to in-depth character development. Tangled begins with a witch named Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) who uncovers a plant with special healing powers and uses it to bring her youth. However, when the pregnant Queen falls sick, a kingdom search party goes on a mission to uncover the plant, saving the lives of the royalty and unintentionally giving the princess, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), magic hair. When Mother Gothel realizes Rapunzel’s hair has the same ability as the plant, she kidnaps the princess and raises her as her own, keeping her locked up in a tower for eighteen years and using her powers for selfish reasons. But when run away criminal Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) ends up seeking refuge in the tower, Rapunzel makes a deal with him, gathering up the courage to finally escape her mother’s over-protectiveness and leave the tower to see the lanterns that are released annually on her birthday. A mixture of innocence and rebellion, the film’s main characters, Rapunzel and Rider, can relate to almost every adolescent. The princess is the epitome of sheltered, her reactions to the real world resembling a child leaving home. Rider is the perfect example of the rebellion stage all go through at one point. Each character is complete with an interesting back-story. But a Disney classic isn’t complete without the trusty sidekicks. Rapunzel’s chameleon, Pascal, and an extreme crime-fighting horse, Maximus, are the primary stars of the motion picture, winning over viewers with their hilarious personalities and humanistic qualities. The most outstanding aspect of the film is the combination of Disney’s traditional hand-drawn art with CGI. The technique creates a whole new level of animation, perfect down to the little hairs on Rider’s chin. The scene consisting of Rapunzel and Rider finally experiencing the annual lanterns is easily the most awe-inspiring point of the entire film, demonstrating just how far animation can go to create realistic scenes. However, just like every movie, some elements fall flat. The music, written by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater, won’t be making it to Broadway anytime soon. While they blend with the plot and fit the criteria of a child’s film, the scores lack the ability to catch the attention of listeners. Overall, Tangled has the potential to be a real classic and is sure to be a treasure locked away in The Disney Vault in the near future.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, more than just a killing spree | LISA BIBBO | reporter
he dynamic battle between the Assassins and Templars continues as Ezio Auditore’s biggest enemy, Rodrigo Borgia, the current Pope of the Vatican, has his son, Cesare, seek out and destroy the Assassin order and take over Italy. In the newest installment of the Assassin’s Creed video game series, enthusiastic players venture into Rome, but this time around with a twist. Taking place right at the end of the second game, the player is now the Master Assassin with an army known as the “Brotherhood.” Without surprise, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is exceptional. The story dives further into Ezio’s life and explores the city of Rome. It is as brilliant as ever and the leading group of assassins for the Brotherhood is an added bonus. The missions are well tied into the overall plot and flow smoothly. The game play has undergone major improvements. The combat system has been greatly redefined for more aggressive play. In Brotherhood, the player gets to use Leonardo da Vinci’s weapons and run his or her own city. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood offers the brand new online multiplayer mode where the gamer brawl against other people from around the world in four different game modes: Wanted, Manhunt, Alliance, and Advance Wanted. Wanted places you in a
match from 6-8 players and you are assigned a target while other players are assigned to hunt and assassinate you. Manhunt consists of two teams of four with two rounds of the hunter and hunted. Alliance is three teams of two players partnered together hunting and being hunted while Advanced Wanted takes a bit more skill where it’s harder to locate the target. Playing in multiplayer takes a bit of skill and creativity. The gamer can choose from 17 different characters, some needing to be unlocked, all with different personalities and ways to kill. This game is phenomenal, as the story, game play, and online options have far exceeded my expectations. This game is superior to the other two Assassin’s Creeds. If you even remotely enjoyed the previous Assassin’s Creeds, then get Brotherhood. This historical action-adventure game is a must-have, and you will love every second of it.
photo courtesy of game-ost.com
Zombies vs. Unicorns
photo courtesy of wired.com
the ultimate battle between the whimsical and undead | MEGAN CAHALAN | entertainment editor
traying away from the overrated and highly debatable war between vampires and werewolves, the latest addition to the young adult fantasy world creates a fun, fresh feud between mythical creatures. Edited by Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and Justine Larbalestier (Liar), Zombies vs. Unicorns is an all fiction anthology featuring twelve stories by today’s bestselling teen authors, half in favor of the fairy tale creature and the other rooting for the undead. Both fictitious figures are displayed in multiple ways: unicorns ranging from majestic, beautiful beasts to rainbow-farting pets and post apocalyptic zombies to the flesh-eating, macaroni and cheese loving teen who isn’t all there in the head. Garth Nix’s “Highest Justice” kicks off the book in the defense of Team Unicorn, but unintentionally ends up giving it a bad first impression. However, the book quickly redeems itself as Alaya Dawn Johnson’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” introduces the first zombie story, intensifying the brewing feud between the two creatures and proving the book will be worth the read.
Black and Larbalestier’s witty commentary in the introductions of each story ties the book together in a way most anthologies aren’t. The majority of the stories leave the reader wanting more, such as Maureen Johnson’s “The Children of the Revolution,” the funniest and most intriguing story of the whole book. It is a tale in which a girl, Sophie, lands a baby sitting job and soon realizes the children aren’t exactly normal. Meg Cabot’s “Princess Prettypants” exploits the typical popculture unicorn, complete with floral fragrance and rainbows, seizing the role of the best addition to Team Unicorn. In general, the stories circling around Team Zombie have a much greater pull than those that are in favor of Team Unicorn. In my opinion, zombies are much more mindblowing; they overpower unicorns with their dead, yet lively, ways of killing and devouring their victims. While all authors provide worthy anecdotes, it’s up to the reader to decide which team they’re rooting for. Zombies vs. Unicorns is overall a monumental anthology. It is definitely a book everyone should have on his or her wish list.
‘The Black Eyed Peas’ redefine hip-hop, pop in newest album | ALEXIS CAIN | reporter
clectic hip-hop/pop group The Black Eyed Peas are back for the sixth time around with ‘The Beginning,’ a follow up of their previous record ‘The E.N.D. World Tour.’ ‘The Beginning’ is heavily influenced by pop and dance, and gives off a heavy electronica beat. In the past albums ‘Elephunk’ and ‘Monkey Business,’ hip hop and R&B dominate the style. The group shows that completely diverse genres can be successfully mashed up into one and as a result produce a whole new sound. “The Time (Dirty Bit),” sampling “I’ve Had The Time of my Life” from the 1987 film Dirty
Dancing happens to be heavily House-Club mix influenced. “Light Up the Night” and “Love you Long Time” show Will.i.am’s vocal abilities over electronic beats. The album then jumps back into that original hip hop sound they’re known for with the track “XOXOXO.” With less contribution from the multi-talented singer, Fergie, the Peas have still managed to create and master a very different style, while continuing to hold on to the traits of ‘The E .N.D. World Tour.’ With happy songs and hypnotic sounds, the group cannot miss with this unique record.
photo courtesy of prohiphop.com
BOUND FOR BROWN
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With coach Carl Bailey at his side, senior Christian Gore prepares to sign the paperwork to play basketball for Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Gore chose to attend Brown not only because of the athletic program, but also because of Brown’s academic prestige. photo by Ian Baker
| SARAH SKIRMONT | sports editor When senior basketball player Christian Gore attends Brown University in the fall of 2011, he will have more on his mind than basketball.
Famous for it’s academic prestige, Brown has an 11% acceptance rate. Gore signed with Brown to play basketball on Nov. 16. He has been named two time All District,
two time All City, McDonald’s All American nominee and has countless achievements under his belt. However, Gore’s main concern will be establishing a high level of academia. “I don’t want to go to the NBA; I don’t think I could go to the NBA, so I figure I should go to a really good academic school,” Gore said. “When I get out, the rest of my life will be set.” Gore plans to continue his career in basketball and hopes to attain as many awards in college as he has in high school. “I will hopefully go into Brown and make All-Ivy, which is MVP of the Ivy Leagues,” Gore said. In order to achieve this, Gore realizes he has improvements to make. “I am going to try to gain a little bit of weight, because in any Division I sport everyone is bigger and stronger,” Gore said. “Academically, there is nothing I can really do; I am taking some hard classes that I like, but I don’t really know what to expect.” Basketball coach Carl Bailey has no doubt that Gore will succeed in his ventures. Gore is one of the all time leading scorers in Franklin history, averaging 15 points per game. “He is a phenomenal player,” Bailey said. ““I am very proud of Christian. He is well-deserving,
20 and is going to be one of the all time leading scorers in Franklin history.” Although Gore is now committed on going to Brown, many factors played into the decision making process. He was contacted by numerous schools such as Northern Arizona University, University North Carolina Greensboro, Steven F. Austin, American University, Holy Cross University and many other Ivy League and patriot schools, but ultimately Brown won him over. “I liked all the schools I visited, but the atmosphere of the Brown campus, and the people there, plus the [the fact that it is an] Ivy League [persuaded me to go],” Gore said. Gore’s mother, Jane Gore also assisted with the life-altering decision. “I am excited for him to go to Brown,“ Jane said. “I actually went with him on a bunch of different recruits [but Brown] was so pretty, and the people were so nice.” Although Gore is looking forward to playing for Brown, he realizes he still has to improve on high school basketball. “I am super excited that I am set on going there, but I know I need to focus on my high school season,” Gore said. “ I am going to try to win city, and go into the state playoffs.”
Taking it to the next level Jacquez signs with UT
| STEPHANIE ASSI| reporter
After receiving countless offers from colleges all over the country, senior baseball pitcher Ricky Jacquez has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Texas at Austin. Playing since Little League, pitching for three different high schools in four years and having the opportunity to play for Team USA, Jacquez is taking the next step in his career to one of the nation’s premiere baseball programs. “I’ve always wanted to go to UT. It is my favorite school and I’m really excited that I finally get to go now,” Jacquez said. “I couldn’t believe it at all. Now I get to live the dream.” Though Jacquez received offers from Arizona State University, Oklahoma State University and the University of South Carolina, among others, UT remained at the top of his list. Jacquez’s final decision came down to a university that is always a contender for a baseball championship, and has a great atmosphere at the school. “Since I was little they’ve always had a winning program and I want to be a part of
the tradition that they have there,” Jacquez said. “I like the facilities and coaches. They have everything there to prepare you and make you better. I can see why they won a few national championships.” He plans to attend UT and further his baseball career. Jacquez has the support from friends, family and his coach. Sophomore Tavo Rodriguez has been a teammate since they were young, and is confident that Jacquez will play in the MLB one day. “It’s great to see Ricky sign. He’s a great ball player and I am so proud of him,” Rodriguez said. “Ricky’s going to make it to the big leagues, definitely. Playing with him has been a great experience. He’s a great teammate, great friend, everything. He’s an awesome player.” Head baseball coach Andy Powers agrees that Jacquez made the right decision and is confident he will be successful. “I want to see him be a success on the field and in life. I want to see him go to Texas, get a degree and use either his degree or his baseball talents to build a career and life out of it,” Powers said. “I want to see him happy and be successful in what he does.”
Possibly eligible for the MLB draft, Jacquez has had a great deal of experience, including earning a gold medal with Team USA . photo by Briana Sanchez
Firing on all cylinders Varsity boys’ basketball 7-3 overall
| MAURICIO CASILLAS | sports editor
Celebrating her signing alongside her mother, senior Victoria Foster has committed to play volleyball for the Air Force Academy Falcons next year. photo by Vanessa Thai
Foster signs to Air Force
| MAURICIO CASILLAS | sports editor enior Victoria Foster sealed her academic and athletic future by officially signing to play volleyball for the Air Force Academy next year. As a sophomore, Foster jumped up to varsity, where she has worn jersey #9 for the last three years. Head coach Flo Valdez acknowledges Foster’s contributions to the team. “Victoria has been here and worked really hard for four years,” Valdez said. “We knew eventually this day was going to come. I’m so excited for her and proud of her. I know she’s going to have a great career.” Foster who has been committed to the school since October, admits that she was anxious to sign. “I was nervous about it at first, but now I’m very excited,” Foster said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment since I committed to the school, and I’m really pumped to play for Air Force.” At first, Foster was opposed to the idea of playing for the Air Force. However, it was her mother who encouraged her to sign. “She’s been playing sports pretty much her whole life,” Mrs. Foster said. “She’s ready for the rigor. She’s been waiting for this moment a very long time.” Though she never coached Foster, jv head coach Dianna Hester is sad to see her go. “It’s hard to see the kids leave, [but] we can’t keep them forever,” Hester said. “To say that I’ll never get to be on the sideline while she’s playing is hard. I’m happy that she’s signing, but I wish I could keep her forever.” Valdez also recognizes that the signing will motivate younger players to strive for excellence. “Her legacy is what is going to keep that team going,” Valdez said. “The younger players who watched her sign and play have a great incentive to do well in the classroom and on the court.” Ultimately, Foster is prepared to continue her volleyball career. “Air Force has really amazing and motivating coaches,” Foster said. “I’m ready to kick some butt with them. “
he boys’ varsity basketball team is off to a strong start this season in their quest for their first playoff berth since 2005-2006. The team returns only three players with varsity experience, and is undersized compared to teams in the past. However, head coach Carl Bailey believes that the team’s size will not hamper their success. “From year to year, coaching style differs depending on the personnel that makes up the team,” Bailey said. “This year, we’re small, we’re fast and we have good shooters. Our style is a little bit more up tempo.” The team (7-3, 2-1 District 1-5A) got off to a hot start by beating Ysleta and Horizon by 48 and 69 points, respectively. In their first game of district play, the Cougars’ roll came to a halt when they fell to the Montwood Rams with a score of 4438. The team bounced back with a 56-40 win against Socorro and a 70-57 win over Bel Air, which got them back on track in district. The Cougars also had an impressive showing in the McDonald’s Fall Classic Tournament. Although the Cougars lost to Lancaster High School 80-70 in their first tournament game, the team pulled off big wins against Trent Internationale Prep and Amarillo
Tascosa, guaranteeing them a title match against the Division 4A Tigers, who are ranked 20 in the country. The team finished second in the tournament falling to the Dallas Lincoln Tigers 68-52 in the title game. Despite the loss, Bailey was proud of the team’s performance. “We played our hearts out,” Bailey said. “We were in the game the whole way. I am very pleased with our effort.” Overall, senior shooting guards Emiliano Padilla and Christian Gore lead the team in scoring, averaging 16 points and 15 points, respectively. Gore also leads the team in assists, averaging three per game. With 14 district games still left, there is still a lot of basketball to be played. Gore acknowledges that the road to the playoffs will be a tough one. “We’re going to have to win games and continue to play hard and smart,” Gore said. “If we do that, everything will fall into place.” Ultimately, Bailey believes that the key to success this season is defending and rebounding. “Our toughest challenge for the season is getting these players to believe that defense and rebounding win championships,” Bailey said.
Focusing on the hoop, senior shooting guard Christian Gore prepares for the shot in the season opener against Ysleta. The Cougars won the game 90-42 (left). Jumping in the air, junior small forward John Bohle goes in for the lay up against Bel Air. The team beat Bel Air 70-57 (right). photos by Briana Sanchez
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Girls’ basketball continues undefeated district record | SARAH SKIRMONT | sports editor s the first half of the season closes, the Cougars prepare to build off of their nearly spotless record of 12-1. Their only loss came in the Polk Key City Tournament, losing to Hebron High School by a score of 44-53 Despite only losing one game, there have been several close calls in maintaining their record. The team trailed behind Horizon High School in all four quarters. But they were able to come back in the last seconds of the game. Senior forward Cassie Smith made the last three point score to tie up the game when junior forward Carolina Casteneda passed the ball to Smith. “I was just thinking, we are not going to lose, we are not going to lose,” Smith said. During overtime, the Cougars secured a 55-52 last second win. “We just realized that mentally, we need to tell ourselves that we are going to win no matter what,” Smith said. “We need to talk to ourselves mentally and individually, that way we can help each other team wise.” There were strategical changes that were also made to maintain their record. “Individually, I just told myself that it is not about scoring, it is about playing defense,” Smith said. “Defense, rebounding, offense and everything else are necessities.” Although there are several factors that determined the scores of the thirteen games, free throws are key. “We have been practicing [free throws] all week,” Smith said. “Team wise, we need to focus on defense, because sometimes we get a little sloppy.” The Cougars had their opportunity to work on their offense during their game against Bel Air High School which produced a final score of 55-32. “We just kept running our offense,” senior forward and guard Valerie Barriga said. “[We wanted to] work on our offensive play.” Ultimately, the team has learned how to play their own game. “We basically needed to play our defense like we know how to, we needed to start running our plays, like we know how to. We needed to start playing like ourselves,” Smith said.
The boys’ soccer seniors hope to lead the team to playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season when they made regional quarter finals. Top row: Hugo Nuñez, Tom Hetzel, Adrian Hernandez, Sean Roth. Bottom row: Luis Garcia, Gabriel Montana, Carlos Garcia, Francisco Rodriguez, Jesus Ortega. photo by Danielle Zaragoza
Seniors look to end playoff drought W | MAURICIO CASILLAS | sports editor ith ten seniors leading the team, varsity soccer players look to end their two-year playoff drought when they kick off their season on Jan. 13. The team has been to the playoffs ten times, making it as far as the regional quarter final in 2008, and has five district championships under its belt. However for the last two seasons, the team has failed to make playoffs, something that they are hoping to change this year. “We’re going to be a strong team,” head coach Gilberto Montes said. “It’s a long season but we have to remain consistent, and continue to play like a team and we will start winning some games.” Senior captain Tom Hetzel believes that team leadership is what will ultimately propel the team to success “We have the senior leadership to make playoffs and go far. I expect us to go undefeated, and hope to make it to the sweet sixteen,” Hetzel said. Ultimately, senior forward Sean Roth realizes that success will not come without a complete team effort. “We need to pass the ball and not be selfish and work towards
the greater good of the team,” Roth said. The team recognizes the pressure to make it to the postseason. “It’s a pretty big deal to go out on top my senior year,” Hetzel said. “I haven’t made playoffs in my high school career so it means a lot to do well this year.” Out of ten seniors on the team, Roth is the only player with playoff experience. He played on the 2008 team that made it all the way to the regional quarterfinals. “We have the potential to be really good. It’s just a matter of training right and playing as a team.” The Cougars will need to finish in the top four in the district in order to qualify for playoffs. Montes acknowledges that the road to the postseason will be a tough one. “In our district, all teams are very competitive,” Montes said. “Obviously our district is very strong because for the last four or five years we’ve competed against the top teams in Texas.” Roth acknowledges that he would like to finish his high school career where it started. “I want to make it to the sweet sixteen again,” Roth said. “Since I was on the sweet sixteen team my freshman year, it would be really good to finish where I started.”
All City Football Players
Holding the ball away from a player from Clint High School, junior guard Carisia Gutierrez runs to score an additional basket. The final score for the game was 62-22. photo by Briana Sanchez
The El Paso All City football game will be held on Dec. 18 at 1:00 p.m. in the Sun Bowl Stadium. All six seniors will represent Franklin in the game due to their outstanding play on the field.
Intently watching a match at the annual Montwood vs. Franklin Tournament, head coach Jesse Almodovar analyzes the techniques junior Joseph Murillo is using in order to pin his opponent. Murillo took first at the tournament in his weight class 112 lbs. “When I wrestle, I know that to be the best you have to beat the best,” Murillo said. “If you don’t have a fear of losing, that’s when you truly start to win.” photo by Briana Sanchez
Wrestling remains undefeated, 7-0 | RHIANNA TAPIA | features editor
he top ranked team in the city has not been tamed. The Cougar wrestling team has dominated this season, racking up an undefeated record after seven meets. With a first place finish at the Franklin Takedown, Montwood, JV Coronado, Burges and Austin tournaments, and overall most points and pins in the Franklin vs. Montwood Dual and Burges Quad, first year assistant coach Clark Edwinson attributes the successes to hard work from the team on and off the mat. “I’ve seen attention to detail, hard work, doing the basics correctly, and paying attention to techniques; these have all allowed us to be undefeated this season,” Edwinson said. “They demonstrate what we teach on the mat.” Senior co-captain Erich Mundt believes the team’s accomplishments did not come without struggle. Mundt took second place in both the Montwood Madness and Burges tournaments in weight class 160 lbs., and currently holds a record of 13-3. “Our focus has been our greatest challenge this season,” Mundt said. “Yes, we’ve been doing well at tournaments, but we should really be blowing the competition away, not even giving the other teams a close chance at beating us.” However, senior co-captain Desta Bailey has discovered that the key to success involves focus and practice. Bailey currently holds a record of
7-3, and took fourth place at Montwood Madness Tourney and second at the Burges Tourney. “As a team, we need to stay focused and do the right thing on and off the mat,” Bailey said. “It’s important that we perfect our technique and become the aggressors by staying on top of our opponents.” With plenty of time before the season’s end, Edwinson holds high expectations for the wrestlers. “The wrestlers need to push to be state champions, that has to be the main goal,” Edwinson said. “We have a very skilled team and they all have potential to make it to State, they just need to perfect what they know.” Although Mundt has the same expectations for the team, he feels that good nutrition and persistence will get them to state. “We’re expected to be consistent in our training and diet, really everything that we do. We can’t slack it for even a second,” Mundt said. “We cannot lose focus because once we do, it’s all down hill from there.” Despite the pressure, when the Cougars step onto the mat it all boils down to one thing. “When we walk into a tournament, we’re expected to be the best there,” Bailey said. “But when we step onto the mat, it’s not a matter of, ‘are we going to win?’; it’s a matter of ‘how well are we going to win?’”
Driving his opponent’s back onto the mat for a pin, freshman Jared Cicchetti (top) anticipates his first place medal at the Montwood Madness Tournament. Cicchetti wrestles for both jv and varsity at weight class 140 lbs. “I’m very grateful that coach puts me in a position to wrestle varsity,” Cicchetti said. “This is going to be my fifth year wrestling and I use my experience to gain confidence every time I start to feel intimidated at a match.” However, junior Joseph Murillo (below), who weighs in at 112 lbs., believes that a strong mentality has the ability to take him to State. “Hard work, determination, my blood, sweat and tears will take me to State this year,” Murillo said. Senior Zane Edwinson (last), who currently wrestles at 125 lbs., has discovered that consistency creates wins. “Wanting the win more than the opponent usually gets me through the match, and knowing all the right moves to make helps a lot too, but without perseverance I’d lose,” Edwinson said. all photos by Briana Sanchez
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ON THE BALL 24
| THE CHRONICLE | staff
he third annual dodgeball tournament was no nonsense. With three-minute rounds, 28 teams battled it out to become the Winter Dodgeball Classic Champions. In the end, the top team was Young Gunz, comprised of junior baseball players Jake Mena, Matt Martinez, Joseph Camacho, Anthony Rios and Bryan Harris. “Going in we had expectations of winning the whole thing,” Harris said. “We went out there with no practice, and just did our best in what we know about dodgeball. But once we were on the court, it became real serious.” Coming in a fast and furious second place, Backdoor Punishment was made up of seniors Jacob Chacon, Aaron Machen, Michael Samaniego, Andres Montenegro and Derek Wolf. Chacon, a member of the second place team, organized the event. “I was one of those kids at the last two tournaments complaining about the rules and the lack of another tournament, so this year I asked our senior class president if I could run the tournaments so actual dodgeball could be played for once,” Chacon said. Chacon hopes to get more teams involved in the spring tournament. “I’d like to get 32 teams next time. Why not enter? It’s an excuse to hit kids in the face with a ball
and not get punished,” Chacon said. For Afternoon Delight, this was the last time they will play together. “The reason we joined the tournament was because of Andrew Yedlick. Andrew is moving this winter, so we decided to make a band of brothers before he left,” junior Bilal Khamsi said. “It’s exciting to see all the teams duke it out, and it really got our whole team pumped. When you’re out there on the court, your mind is just focused on putting that red ball in the opponent’s face.” Afternoon Delight proved to be serious contenders. “We won our first two match ups. The first was against a group of girls named ‘The Fireballs’ and then we beat ‘The Scarlet Letters,’” Khamsi said. “Our team worked together and our main strategy was to throw the ball in pairs. We eventually lost to team Backdoor Punishment. It was close game, a great game.” With success in previous tournaments, the student body has been granted two tournaments this year. This semester they earned $700 just on entry fees alone, and hope to exceed that in the spring. “The past tournaments have been very successful so we wanted to try it out,” Megan Terrazas said. “This year was no different, we sold over 300 tickets and had 28 teams sign up. The dodgeball tournament is so entertaining and a great way to support your peers.”
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The winners of the dodgeball tournament were the Young Gunz which included juniors Jake Mena, Matt Martinez, Joseph Camacho, Anthony Rios and Bryan Harris (top). As a part of Backdoor Punishment, seniors Michael Samaniego and Jacob Chacon strategize their next move (left). Juniors Michelle Arreola and Isabella Torres were a part of Team Sour Patch Kiddos (middle). Senior David Brown and junior Bilal Khamsi, two members of the group Afternoon Delight, prepare to dodge oncoming balls (right). all photos by Briana Sanchez