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chronicle the

8 Murders A Day|04 YB earns Silver Crown|06 Baseball ranks sixth in state|27

Franklin High School • 900 N. Resler, El Paso TX 79912 • 915.833.2696 • Volume 18, Issue 5 • March 2011 •

GOAL Varsity girls’ soccer sweeps districts undefeated, 16-0 see page 25


cover photo by Briana Sanchez

continued online coverage at


news on the cover Rounding out a district title and undefeated season, senior defensive center mid-fielder Paulina Gomez shoots the ball in the final season game against Coronado High School. The girls’ soccer team is the only team with an undefeated district record for 2010-11. The girls will and continue in playoffs, first playing Amarillo Tascosa. photo by Briana Sanchez heart to heart While speaking at the Rachel’s Challenge presentation, student council secretary and junior Rion Thompson took part in the workshop as part of the platform student council is using to run for the state presidency position for the Texas Association of Student Councils. Thompson will be the state representative if student council wins the election for state presidency. photo by Briana Sanchez

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

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











OSCAR RUIZ graphic illustrator OCTAVIO LOPEZ photographer JAI TANNER


CARLA GASWAY principal

about this issue

volume 18, issue 5, March 2011


he bar has been raised and has been raised to new heights. First, prom has been relocated to the Convention Center. PTSA will be given the opportunity to convert the 80,000 sq. ft. location to a breathtaking and memorable space with an Arabian flair with the theme ‘Treasure the Night,’ which will house the expected 1,300 upperclassmen (pg. 12-13). The state and district budgets have become an important focus in the community, thanks to educational advocate senior Ian Baker. He has taken initiative to bring awareness to the budget crisis by organizing two meetings to address the situation (pg. 3). Records have been set by the varsity girls’ soccer team by being the only sports team to have an undefeated record this school year. They are the third girls’ soccer team in the school’s history to have this record. (pg. 25) Socially, student council is trying to create a domino effect of random acts of kindness by using bullying as their platform as they run for state presidency for the Texas Association of Student Councils. Student Council has successfully added a link on the district website to raise awareness about bullying. (pg. 6) 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 or call our office at 915.833.2696. —Amanda Rodriguez, Stephanie Avalos, editors-in-chief


video files at Check out the following videos: (1) Ian Baker organizes budget cut meetings; (2) Varsity Girls’ Soccer: Franklin vs. Coronado; (3) Varsity Boys’ Baseball: Franklin vs. Bel Air; (4) Mr. Franklin; (5) Varsity Boys’ Soccer: Franklin vs. Hanks; (6) Winterguard; (7) Varsity Boys’ Basketball: Franklin vs. Americas; (8) Varsity Girls’ Basketball: Franklin vs. El Dorado (9) Amy Adkins signs to St. Mary’s. videos created by Stephanie Assi, David Brown and Kat Nielson



section editor • amanda rodriguez []



enior Ian Baker never dreamed his independent study project would become this big—or this important. About 400 people attended the “Make Education a Priority” community meeting on Saturday, including State Rep. Dee Margo, Sen. Jose Rodriguez and EPISD Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia. The meeting occurred only days after the Texas House approved a budget that will severely slash funding, projected to cut between $6 and $40 million in EPISD alone. Among the topics discussed during the meeting was the use of the rainy day fund and how far legislators are willing to sacrifice. Gifted and talented independent study, the very class that Baker is taking that has afforded the time and support to organize the meeting, is on the chopping block. “I am willing to go as far as it takes so that we don’t lose teachers. I want to make sure that critical programs like those complementary programs are available,” Rodriguez said. Though Gov. Rick Perry and the House agreed to use $3.2 billion of the state’s emergency fund to help close a shortfall in this year’s budget, Perry has vowed to reject any 2012-13 budget that would further tap the yearly replenished $9 billion reserve fund. Rodriguez said that the state must do more. “We need to consider using the entire rainy day fund in order to help this budget shortfall,” Rodriguez said. “It is not just raining right now, it is storming.” However, Margo does not believe that the House will go that far. “I don’t sense that the majority would go along with it and I don’t think there is going to be that much willingness by the House to use the entire rainy day fund, as much as on the

The community meeting, “Making Education a Priority,” drew over 400 attendees on Saturday, March 26. Senior Ian Baker, flanked by school board representative Patty Hughes, listens as members of the panel discuss the budget cuts that will affect education. • Embracing her student Ian Baker, independent studies teacher Rachel Anderson often speaks of the importance of education, especially extracurriculars, fine arts and advanced programs. “Across El Paso, the only exposure that many students will get to the arts is through school. Kids who may not be able to access those resources will miss a valuable outlet for their creativity,” Anderson said. “There is going to be a lot of talent that goes undeveloped. It will be tragic.” photos by Briana Sanchez

senate side,” Margo said. Margo says that if the entire amount were to be used, as has been done before, it would not necessarily have a detrimental impact on the bond rating. Another proposed solution to the crisis involves amending gaming laws to raise revenue. “People from Texas are constantly going over to Sunland Park and Las Vegas, NM to gamble, when that revenue could be ours,” Rodriguez said. “We could open up the Tigua [casino] for gambling.” The Tigua Casino was shut down in 2002.

have made a commitment to not only the core academics, but also the electives.” Textbook funding may be cut as well. “How are students expected to keep up with the latest standardized test, the STARR test, which is supposed to be more difficult, with limited resources such as textbooks?” Rodriguez said. “Public education is still underfunded for the future of Texas.” Baker is concerned for the future of the state. “If you think about the creators that we have today, the reason that we have this technology is because creativity needs to be partnered with academic ability,” Baker said. “Creativity needs to be partnered with “If we take away fine arts, we academic ability. If we take away fine are risking future creations of the generation.” arts, we are risking future creations of Jordan, who has two children in the EPISD school the generation.” system, agrees. | SENIOR IAN BAKER | “This is an investment as Rodriguez also proposed the possibility of a community and as a state that is important,” imposing a one-cent tax on soft drinks. Jordan said. “In the future, students are going “Take one penny per ounce, and you would to be the ones to help us when we grow older.” raise $2.3 billion, and at the same time, address Margo says that the state cannot afford to the high incidence of obesity we have in the downgrade the school system. community,” Rodriguez said. “The lieutenant “Education is critical. It is the human capital of governor also talked about increasing the fee for the entire state; it is our major natural resource,” renewing your license a few dollars. It has been Margo said. $26 for years.” Superintendent Garcia said cuts will be Baker has a deep passion for education. spread out equally between administrators and “I want to be a future educator,” Baker said. “I teachers, and that in the past five years, EPISD want the work field to be good when I enter it, has cut $43 million that has not affected students and it is unfortunate that it is going to affect jobs and there is nothing left to cut, leaving teachers in the future.” as an option for reductions. In addition to the GT program, foreign Margo said that there have already been bare languages and fine arts are also at risk. bone reductions to businesses. “All the programs that we offer in the district “There’s blood all over the floor and no room are important to our students academically,” for cuts,” Margo said. EPISD chief of staff Dr. Terri Jordan said. “We



While giving a presentation to students on March 8 about 8 Murders a Day, a documentary revealing the escalating violence in Juarez due to the ongoing drug war, documentarian Charlie Minn and KVIA sports reporter Paul Cicala travelled to different high schools to promote the premiere of the movie at the Plaza Theatre and to inform students about what is happening across the border. “We will be on the verge of watching a city dissolve into the ground for the first time in our history,” Minn said. “The city has already lost about 20% of its population due to the spike in the violence that erupted in January 2008 when the two cartels split apart in the city. Rich people in Juarez have fled to El Paso, and over 8,000 murders have crippled the city since 2008.” photo by Briana Sanchez

8 MURDERS A DAY Documentarian Charlie Minn chronicles ‘worst human rights violation in human history’

| SARAH SKIRMONT | sports editor | AMANDA RODRIGUEZ | editor in chief


s a part of a series of informational sessions, documentarian Charlie Minn previewed his film, 8 Murders a Day, to students on March 8. The film exposes the escalating violence in Juarez due to the ongoing drug war. Minn, who is originally from Manhattan, was filming A Nightmare in Las Cruces when he first became interested in Juarez. “I was just so alarmed by the violence. I don’t know if people really have a grip on what is truly going on,” Minn said. “What really got me going was when they started murdering children and babies. I am on a trek where I want everyone to see this film because of the injustice involved.” Due to a lack of media coverage, Minn’s objective for his film is to give a clear and detailed perspective into Juarez. “When you watch the news, the US media is doing a horrible job reporting the violence as a whole. About 80% of the US has no idea what is going on in Juarez,” Minn said. “On the news, even if you hear about it, [the stories are] never deep. This documentary will give you 90 consecutive minutes of what is going on since it is a mystery to a lot of people.” Since much of the violence is overlooked by media outlets, Minn believes it is vital to inform younger demographics.

“This is the most serious, overlooked, mysterious problem in the world today. If adults and experts are confused, what is a high-school student thinking?” Minn said. “I believe this will only prepare them for the real world once their education is over.”

“I put my life and my money on the line for this project. My passion is deep to be part of helping solve the greatest human rights disaster in the world today.” Although Minn’s main concern is with creating awareness in his audience, he believes the US could have a part in rebuilding Juarez. “We first have to look at our problem with illegal drugs. It is no secret that the U.S. is the largest consumer of illegal drugs,” Minn said. “There are a lot of people talking about closing the border, legalizing drugs; it is a long answer, and that is all discussed in the movie. The last resort would be to send troops.” However, counselor Kabir Tompkins disagrees with some of Minn’s solutions, especially when they involve the U.S. military. “I’m not a movie critic or writer. I just get

offended because I went to Iraq; I fought for the country. I don’t even stand for the pledge of allegiance because I think what we are doing is wrong,” Tompkins said. “It’s not our place to pass judgment on people; that’s up to the government. I’m against the military getting involved, and I think his message was wrong.” While Tompkins is sympathetic towards the families in Juarez, he questions the motive behind the film. “[By showing us] the first 6 minutes of his movie, he’s subliminally saying, ‘go watch my movie, go spend your money on my movie so they don’t pull my movie off the shelves.’ Are you going to use your money to [establish some order] or do you just want your movie to stay in circuit so that you keep making money,” Tompkins said. Along with Tompkin’s doubts, senior Fernie Espinosa also has reservations. “I know they want to draw attention to the subject, but I feel it was not the right approach. From the presentation, I felt there were not enough answers,” Espinosa said. “I know they wanted people to go watch the movie, but there was not enough information given for such an aggressive subject.” By giving his presentation to high schools around the city, Minn was hoping to generate interest for the documentary shown at the Plaza Theatre from March 11-17. “It is something that doesn’t happen every day when you have a filmmaker coming into your own backyard to do these stories. You are only able to see it, but also to know that what you are seeing and what you are witnessing is something that you can directly relate to,” KVIA reporter and 8 Murders a Day contributor Paul Cicala said. Despite criticisms on his contributions to help Juarez, Minn’s dedication runs deep. “I put my life and my money on the line for this project,” Minn said. “My passion is deep to be part of helping solve the greatest humanrights disaster in the world today.”



on Juarez

According to the New York Times:

• Over 34,600 people have been killed in Mexico in the four years since President Felipe Calderon took office; over 8,000 have died in Juarez • Juarez has lost nearly 20% of its population in the last three years • In October and August of 2010, homicides in the city reached record braking heights with over 300 • About 15,273 people died in Juarez in 2010 alone • In February, the Obama administration began sending drones into Mexican territory to gather intelligence that helps locate major traffickers and follow their networks • Only 2% of those charged with organized crime-related offenses face trial in Mexico



BUSINESS taking care of

DECA sends four students to Internationals

| STEPHANIE AVALOS | editor in chief ECA is sending four students to internationals in Orlando on April 29 where they will compete against members from all over the world. The team took first place wins in their state competition held in Ft. Worth. First place winners include seniors Ale Martinez (restaurant and food marketing) Annick Rivas (series event), team Meredith Montrose and Sydney Ray (business law and ethics). Second place alternates include Sophia Azurmendi (restaurant and food marketing) and team Becca Brady and Ana Munoz (sports and entertainment). “DECA competitors did an amazing job representing Franklin,” sponsor Gisela Hernandez said. “In fact, we had more winners than any other high school.” Team Brady and Munoz, competing in sports and entertainment, added a female demographic to a predominately male category.




“Sports marketing is the largest category in DECA and when we turned around to see the other teams, every person that was walking on stage with us was a guy,” Brady said. “It was cool to know out of the biggest division there, we were the only all girl team to make it that far.” First time members and seniors Meredith Montrose and Sydney Ray reflect on their experience. “We went into this to just have another fun experience senior year,” Montrose said. “Once we were in the competition we got serious and now we have the opportunity to compete against competitors from all over the world.” Members had to place first to qualify for internationals; those who placed second will be an alternate. “No matter what, I’ll always look back on this exciting experience and appreciate everything I’ve learned,” Azurmendi said. “I’ll always be proud of all of us that even made it to state.”



Student Council runs for state presidency

| STEPHANIE AVALOS | editor in chief


tudent Council will be running for the Texas Association of Student Councils’ state presidency position during the 75th annual state conference begining April 1 in Arlington. “Our council has become well recognized across the state of Texas due to our involvement in TASC activities such as summer leadership workshop, advanced leadership workshop, and the state conference,” student activities manager Lisa Thompson said. “With that said, attendance alone is not the reason we are well recognized; it’s the students we have at Franklin and their level of commitment and involvement and their passion for Student Council. It is evident in every TASC event we attend.” TASC is composed of 4,500 members which makes up the largest organization of student council’s in the world. Current student council secretary, junior Rion Thompson will be the state representative if the council manages to gain the title of president. “It would be amazing if we got elect-

ed, I feel that I would be able to represent well and the position would really give us the opportunity to do a lot of good things for the community,” R. Thompson said. “A lot about being president is promoting TASC and promoting participation.” Part of the elections is organizing a seven minute performance that is composed of a platform that focuses on a problem that the council would like to address at their school. “Bullying seemed to be the best platform because it’s present in every school and it’s becoming a bigger problem,” student council president Becca Brady said. “Picking bullying allows us, as student leaders, to reach out and educate others of the negative effects and hopefully make a difference.” The council will be running against six other schools and will be the first EPISD school to run for a state position and the second El Paso school after Montwood to run for a TASC position.

Stu Co State continued on p. 7

BPA national competitors include senior Sara Acevedo, junior Jani Wertin, junior Chris Wang, Naili Woelper and Lusely Gonzalez. Gonzalez will advance to the international competition in May. photo by Octavio Lopez

BPA student advances to nationals | CAMILLE CYR | reporter


enior Lusely Gonzalez will be the first student in school history to qualify for Business Professional Nationals held May 4-8. Along with junior Chris Wang, senior Sara Acevedo, junior Regional President Naili Woelper, and junior Jani Wertin, Gonzalez was one of five students who advanced to the state competition held March 3-6. “It was awesome that they did so well this year, especially Lusely Gonzalez, who advanced to nationals,” BPA supervisor Mary Lou Valencio-Orozco said. “We worked almost every lunch hour. I didn’t do it for them, but I just made sure that everything was in proper order the way it’s required for BPA.” Woelper advanced to state level for the economic research team. Her term for area president was completed this year after her advancement into state two years in a row. As a representative of the economic research team, she discussed current financial issues. “We studied how job availability has affected our economy with unemployment, if there is a correlation, whether you can qualify for a job, and what you should know going into a job interview,” Woelper said. “Being a regional president has taught me leadership skills and how to cooperate with people.” Other areas that the students studied were web design, applications, computer security and entrepreneurship. Wang, who advanced into state competition for economic research and computer security, says that BPA is more than a business organization. “BPA is a fun organization, and it gets you involved. I want to be in a business and marketing field when I grow up, so I see it as a good opportunity to develop my skills and acquire experience,” Wang said. “[As you advance], everything gets more intense and harder. My goal for next year is to make it to nationals.” Involvement is absolute and constant for BPA competitors. Valencio has been coaching for 10 years and this is the first time she has had a student advance to nationals. “We’ve had a lot of success stories,” Valencio said. “For the last five years we’ve had the area position. In web applications at the state level, the students created a web site.” Valencio says that every year has been different, due to the different caliber of students that advance to state, but this year stands out. The competitions have created an open door for students interested in business professions and leadership skills. “It is a head start to business world,” Woelper said.



NATIONAL NOTICE Yearbook takes CSPA Silver Crown, nominated for Pacemaker | CAMI GONZALEZ | entertainment editor


or the third year in a row, the Pride yearbook is a finalist for The National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Peacemaker Award. Incite, the 2010 yearbook, is one of 55 books selected from around the country to represent the

best of the best. Finalists will be honored at the JEA/NSPA Spring National Convention award ceremony in Anaheim on April 16. “The Pacemaker is the highest honor NSPA gives to its member,” NSPA contest coordinator Kathy Hutting said. “Finalists were chosen by a panel of judges based on excellence in the following areas: coverage and content, theme/ concept, design and layout, writing and editing, and photography, art, and graphics.”

In addition to being honored with this nomination, Incite is also the recipient of a Colombia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Silver Crown. Journalism adviser Jai Tanner is committed to a steadfast Journalism program.

“Peacemakers and Crown awards are unofficially known as the ‘Pulitzer Prizes for Student Journalism.” | Journalism Adviser J. Tanner | “As an adviser, you want your students’ work to receive recognition. I know that we produce a great book, and it’s nice for that to be acknowledged on a national scale,” Tanner said. “It’s a great honor to be nominated for a NSPA Pacemaker and receive a CSPA Silver Crown. I consider it equal to winning state, only for yearbook. Peacemakers and Crown awards are unofficially known as the ‘Pulitzer Prizes for Student Journalism.’” According to the CSPA website, the Crown Awards are the highest recognition given to a student print or online medium for overall ex-

cellence. Both Gold Crown and Silver Crown Awards are given each year. Senior editor in chief of Pride 2011 and 2012, Ian Baker, shares his impression on the overall theme of Incite. “I knew that Incite would receive an award of some kind, and to find out about being nominated for both was great. I didn’t expect it, to be honest, but I knew that this book would draw in recognition,” Baker said. “This yearbook is so different from what Franklin is used to. We usually do bold and primarily black books that have that shock and awe feel; Incite is subtle, yet impactful.” Baker sees Incite as more of a human-interest collection, and says the creation and execution of the book was a challenging process. “Incite was truly a demanding book. We spent so long polishing out our concept and theme. We really wanted to change up the usual Franklin look while staying true to our school,” Baker said. “I think finding the version that would relate to our audience was the main trouble.” Tanner has a more maternal relationship with Incite.

Yearbook continued on p. 7

Combatting Bullying:

Rachel’s Challenge inspires self-awareness, StuCo works to create ‘bully button’

| CAMILLE CYR | reporter

In attempt to address national statistics on bullying among teens, school districts and foundations in El Paso are taking an extra step to help stop the negative behavior. Rachel’s Challenge, an anti-bullying workshop was presented at the school on Feb. 21. The presentation focused on the events that led up to, and occurred during and after the Columbine shootings. The program is named in honor of Rachel Joy Scott, 17, the first to be killed in the 1999 Columbine shooting. She believed that her act of compassion could create a chain reaction. “After Rachel’s death, a sketch of her handprint was found on the back of her furniture. It contained a message written when she was 13. It said, ‘These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of people’s hearts,’” University of Behavioral Health regional school health worker Donna Juarez said. “Her family now talks about her story and bullying and they challenge you to do acts of kindness.” The University of Behavior Health (UBH) funded almost $15, 000 an hour for Rachel’s Challenge to come

to Franklin along with a leadership class. They have also visited Cathedral High School and Chapin High School. “Seeing Rachel’s story and the presentation moved me to tears because it reminded me that life is short and there isn’t time to waste on unimportant matters,” senior class council historian Becca Boyea said. How to report bullying: •Go to and select ‘schools’ •Go to Franklin High School •Under ‘Related websites,’ select ‘Stop Bullying Now!’ Juarez says that there is a cause-and effect-connection between bullying and behavior that occurs later. “The men at Columbine were bullied when they were younger and became isolated and angry and started committing hate crimes. They became suicidal and homicidal,” Juarez said. Rachel’s Challenge emerged when her father Darrel Scott began trying to motivate students to make a positive change in how they treat others. It is a one-hour presentation that speaks to both adults and children but is mainly intended for students from elementary up through college. “Many districts including Canutillo

and Ysleta have already established a bully ‘button’ on their websites,” atrisk coordinator Isabelle Oaxaca said. Working with EPISD central office, student council has established a “bully button” so that students can anonymously report bullying. “It’s already up on our school’s home page so that kids can send anonymous tips,” student council president Rebecca Brady said. Student council accepted Rachel’s Challenge and the act of being kind to people. “Mrs. Thompson brought Rachel’s Challenge to our school because Franklin student council is running for state president for TASC, and our campaign is about anti-bullying,” sophomore class council president Jaqlyn Alderete said. “Rachel’s Challenge is about being kind to everyone.” Ultimately, Juarez believes that human kindness and respect can conquer the negativity that causes victims to become bullies. “No matter how you look, what size you are, what color you are, or what language you speak, if everyone looks after each other, it can be the very thing that keeps someone from being depressed or suicidal,” Juarez said. “There is power in positive feedback.”

photo courtesy of findagrave. com

WHO WAS RACHEL? Rachel Joy Scott was the first to perish in the 1999 Columbine shooting. According to, Rachel was described as a creative, caring person who enjoyed film, writing, entertaining, writing plays, and playing piano entirely by ear. She incorporated God in many of her journal entries and even wrote direct letters to him that expressed her ideas and faith. Her funeral was the most viewed in television history. A month before her death, she wrote an essay entitled “My Ethics, My Codes of Life,” thus creating the idea of a challenge. Because of her ability to be different, she made a lasting impact on many lives.



Yearbook from p. 7

As the JROTC unarmed drill team members stand in formation preparing for the exhibition drill at Del Valle, soldiers from Fort Bliss judge them on performance and regulation. Diagonally front to back: Element leaders: 2LT Angie Ariz pe-Helo, 2LT Allison Coutu, 2LT Jessica Bixler. Element 2: 2LT Brittany Bell, 2LT Kimberly Rohrer, 2LT Megan Wilderman. 3rd element: 2LT Ashley Robles, 2LT Christian Carrasco and 2LT Hailey Hoffman. photo by Lisa Bibbo

Unarmed drill team takes first in exhibition, JROTC knock outs competition at Del Valle meet

| LISA BIBBO | reporter he unarmed drill team stands in formation waiting for regulation check by the supervising army soldiers. As the sun shines on them during exhibition, the metal tab on 2LT Hailey Hoffman’s shoe inadvertantly breaks off. Luckily, it stayed on by a tack, and the team was not penalized. “When this happens, there’s really nothing you can do. I drug my foot for the whole rest of the routine and concentrated on making sure that the tab stayed on,” Hoffman said. “If it had fallen off, it would have cost five points, which is enough to make the team not place.” With a bit of luck and maneuvering, Hoffman’s fears did not come to pass, and the unarmed drill team took first place for exhibition at the Del Valle Drill Meet competition on Sat. Feb 27. Additionally, they took second place in inspection, and second in regulation, thus placing second overall. In total, JROTC walked away with eight awards. “Honestly, we were going for a comeback because of the rough spot we experienced at district,” 2LT Jessica Bixler said. “Taking first really brought up spirit decor.” Master Sergeant Jesus Del Rio was proud of the cadets. “I feel real good about the unarmed drill team,” Master Sergeant Jesus Del Rio said. “They have been practicing this drill, some of them for four years. Every year we take away or we add a little bit.” After the drill team competitions, cadets competed in individual events. “At first it’s pretty intense to do in-


dividual, especially when you’re by yourself and all of these people are looking at you and they don’t know who you are or anything,” 2LT Angie Arizpe-Helo said. Arizpe-Helo recieved first place on her individual routine. The final event of the day is knockout, where cadets from all schools follow given commands until there is only one left standing. “Knock out is a stationary drill down,” SMSGT Edwin Justo said. “It’s basically face movements and marching.” The cadets themselves were impressed with their performance at knockout. “Robert Lindemann was the unexpected champion,” Bixler said. “He was able to manipulate the drill to work for him. It was an Army drill, and army regulations differ from our Air Force regulations.” In knockout, Lindemann stood at attention with an unbreakable bearing, Justo said. “He was surrounded by army instructors. There were three cadets-one in front of him, one behind him and another to the side,” Bixler said. “Surrounding these cadets were ten more judges.” The experience was redemption for Lindemann. “We had a bad performance in armed drill team, and I was pretty mad. I know that I messed up and it impacted me a lot,” Lindemann said. “I tried to put it behind me, and go on with the day.” “I was very surprised. You can’t look at anybody else, so you don’t know what’s going on,” Lindemann said. “When it was over, the head

judge turned to me and said, ‘Congratulations.’ It was a big moment in my ROTC experience.” Though they took first a few weeks ago at the Austin Drill Meet, which qualified them for state, the armed team took third in exhibition and ranked fifth overall at the Del Valle meet. “Unfortunately it was not a very good day for the armed team. We started off really bad for inspection and from there, it followed on to regulation when they went out of bounds and missed a lot of steps,” Del Rio said. “From there it carried on to exhibition where the confidence was not there and their selfesteem was really blown.” Though the armed drill team took fifth, Del Rio says that the experience benefited them at the state meet in Houston on March 3-7. The armed team returned from Houston taking 10th place overall out of 24 teams, and Del Rio says it was a good experience for the younger cadets. “State is a different level of competition,” Del Rio said. “From this drill meet, the younger cadets will be promising individuals, they’ll want to go back and now they know what to expect.” Del Rio says that his cadets earn every award they recieve. “I’m very proud of them and that the people in JROTC are here because they want to be. It’s not a walk in the park; my standards are high and my cadets meet those standards,” Del Rio said. “It’s not easy; my cadets earn their ranks, positions, medals and ribbons. They work for it and they earn it.”

“Incite had a specific personality, as do all the books. It was simultaneously Metaphorically speaking, each is like a child. They take 9-10 months to produce, and they require a great deal of patience, and believe me, you do lose sleep over them,” Tanner said. However, like a mother with more than one child, Tanner is excited about the next book about to be ‘born.’ “I am excited about next year’s book, “Filter.” It is stunning. The photography is amazing and the layouts are spectacular,” Tanner said. “It is sophisticated and artistically powerful, like a coffee table book. These nominations are a testament to the yearbook staffs’ hard work. “We have been Pacemaker nominees for the past three years. Receiving these nominations is confirmation of a solid program,” Tanner said. “Truly, to be nominated for these awards is to stand with the best in the country.”

Stu Co from p. 7

“It’s not just any year that Franklin could have accomplished this. It takes a special group of kids, with unique and individual strengths and talents to pull something like this off. It is true team work,” L. Thompson said. “This would be a phenomenal accomplishment and something to be very proud of. TASC is directly associated with Texas Association of Secondary School Principals and being elected would give us state wide recognition.” For senior Aaron Alonso the title would only add on to the recognition the council has worked for. “Our student body doesn’t really understand the magnitude of what this means for our school,” Alonso said. “Student council goes way beyond painting posters, we truly work hard to make the school a better place for everyone to enjoy and being state president would only give us the opportunity to reach out to a larger community.”



FBLA advances to state | STEPHANIE AVALOS | editor in chief


uture Business Leaders of America will be sending 12 members to the state level competition in San Antonio on April 1. According to district policy, in order to be eligible to travel to the state competition, members had to earn first place in their category. First place winners and state qualifiers include seniors Sarah Campbell, Amanda Rodriguez, Jonathan Pinney, Ian Baker, Stephanie Avalos, Kristi Meyer, junior Grace Mihalyov and sophomore Chris Wang. “Every level of competition brings more emotions and stress. Competing at the area level has never been daunting, just the pre-show jitters,” president and senior Sarah Campbell said. “Moving on to state you face the best public speakers from Dallas, Plano, Houston. All those kids are very talented, so the intimidation factor definitely rises.” For Rodriguez, the pressure of moving on to the next level was left on her shoulders to take the entrepreneurship test alone. “This was my first year competing in FBLA, so I was happy to be competing in a team test,” Rodriguez said. “I found out the week of the competition that my partner couldn’t compete so I was really nervous, but I ended up placing first.” Although Rodriguez advanced the team to state by herself, together Rodriguez and her partner Pinney made it to the second round by ranking in the top ten at state. “It’s a big shocker, going this year especially as a senior is a big accomplishment,” Pinney said. “I’m very excited but I’m also nervous because that means we have to present a speech. Once we go in to present we’ll only have 20 minutes to prepare our presentation.” The organization welcomed many newcomers including senior Ian Baker competing in Desktop Publishing. “I was really surprised by the number of students that compete in FBLA in El Paso,” Baker said. “Taking first place in our category was an even bigger surprise. My partner Stephanie Avalos and I worked really hard and seeing it all pay off was really rewarding. I think that we have a really good shot at state. The test wasn’t too bad, and I think our design skills are on par with some of the best in the state.” “I would love for everyone to go to nationals,” sponsor Janelle Poe said. “The only expectations that I have for state is that the students do their best and I’ll be happy.”

Out of the 16 members in FBLA, nine are advancing to state. Members include Stephanie Avalos, Chris Wang, Crystalblue Gaytan, Amanda Rodriguez, Sarah Campbell, Andreas Langer, Phillip Yoon, Lauren Estrada, Bilal Khamsi, Jonathan Pinney, Diego Mendoza, Grace Mihalyov, Ian Baker, Steven Cosgrove, Rion Thompson, and Bobby De La Rosa. Last year, four members--Amanda Brinegar, Carissa Castelo, Moriah Momsen and Sarah Campbell--took first at state. Brinegar and Castelo took first at nationals as well. photo by Octavio Lopez

With approximately 45 students attending the first meeting of GLASS, club creator Alonso Muñoz is pleased with the turnout for the initial meeting. The next meeting will be on Thursday, March 31 in S142. photo by Octavio Lopez

Shattering social stigmas First meeting for GLASS is smashing success | RHIANNA TAPIA | features editor fter attempts to start a gay straight alliance club last year failed, sophomore Alonso Munoz’s passion for the acceptance of all students prompted him to create the Gay Lesbian and Straight Society (GLASS). “I read in the newspaper last year that people wanted to start a gay straight alliance and when I asked Mrs. Tanner about it she told me that the student who initially wanted to start it just moved away,” Munoz said. “I thought it was necessary to have a club like this because interest in it took place during a time when all the gay suicides were happening. Nobody should have to take their lives because they are living in fear. People should be able to just live their lives.” In addition, Munoz hopes that the club will spark a sense of togetherness in all members as well as throughout the school. “Hopefully this club will diminish homophobia and more homosexual, bisexual, and lesbian students will feel more comfortable,” Munoz said. “It’s important to accept yourself before anyone else, and I’m hoping that this club will give them that little push to do that.” Though the concept of the organization seems concrete, sponsor Adriana Baxter says that the journey to establish the club was difficult. “We had permission from the school to start the club, but the finance administrator told me that we didn’t have the proper approval from the district yet and that was still pending,” English teacher Adriana


Baxter said. “We aren’t allowed to fund raise yet, but we plan on talking to the other campuses that do have approval to see what more we can do.” Despite obstacles, the outcome of GLASS’s first meeting proved successful. “I’ve always wanted to be in a club like this,” senior Beverly Palomares said. “It’s important for people to actually have a place to go if they’re having trouble at home or in school, and this club much speaks for itself by doing that. It is support, tolerance, and it makes itself known.”

Addressing attendees at the first official meeting of GLASS. sophomore Alonso Munoz discusses plans for the organization. “I want to help create a positive climate at the school,” Munoz said. photo by Octavio Lopez



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halltalk Who is Moammar Gadhafi?

Gabriel Trevino, 10

O O O O O O “He’s an underground rapper.”

Natalie Ortiz, 11

“He’s a maniac.”

Joe Ramirez, 10

“It’s a type of tree.”

Albert Moehlig, 12

“The president of Tijuana.”

Kevin Bazaar, 10

“He’s an athlete.”

Craig Ludwig, 11

He’s a Frenchman who flies in outer space and writes poetry.” Ashley Price, 10


“The dictator of Libya.”

Moammar Gadhafi is the tyrannical ruler of Libya. In power since 1969, he has recently resorted to waging war against protesting citizens advocating his removal from power. Currently, the United Nations Security Council has authorized to use of military force to protect rebels being attack by Gaddhafi’s loyalist soldiers.


| NATALIE FELSEN | opinions editor tragedy such as that in Japan cannot be truly described in words; its breadth is too immense, its sadness too deep. Yet the effects of that calamity can be examined; since the treble harpies of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster have completely devastated the island nation, wondering witnesses have observed three facets of Japan’s situation. The first is that, as absolutely terrible as the disaster was, it could have been much, much worse. Japan is so familiar with natural disasters that catastrophe has become integrated into popular culture; after all, the most iconic image from Japanese art depicts a tsunami. This awareness of potential calamity has permeated the government as well—thanks to earthquake early-warning and tsunami-alert systems, many were able to escape to higher ground before the tsunami hit. Japan prides itself on its efficiency, and rightly so—in this instance it has saved lives. Yet, ironically, Japanese orderliness has not been able to alleviate the suffering of victims of the most stricken areas. Two gallons of gasoline




often requires half a day’s wait, and medicine is in short supply. Desperate times call for desperate measures; the government must disregard protocol for its citizens’ sakes. Now, how will the rest of the world be affected by this episode? Japan is on the road to recovery; yet the fact that the world’s third largest economy has been metaphorically struck by lightning is inescapable. American experts have predicted an imminent scarcity of items such as the iPad 2 and Toyota vehicles, as they are Japanese-made. If skirmishes in Libya, a country generally on the global economic periphery, have caused gas to rise by over 30 cents per gallon in the past three weeks, what could this catastrophe do to the global economy? However, it seems an ideological shift has already occurred. The earthquake and tsunami were reminders of the might and volatility of nature; not even Japan’s conscientiousness could prevent pain. It seems humanity’s hubris has taken a beating; however, whether or not that subordination will prevent riskiness and thus save lives remains to be seen.

on the news

On March 11, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Japan. The subsequent tsunami caused the death toll to climb upwards of 20,000, amongst continued radiation concerns from an overheating nuclear plant. As Japanese students, how have you been affected by these events? Kan Ito, 11

I’m planning to go visit Japan this winter but the news is talking about the radiation levels being too high; that’s probably the biggest problem [my relatives] and I have right now other than the destruction from the earthquake.

Akiho Hayakawa, 11

I first heard about the earthquake from my friends and I became very worried. During spring break I tried calling my parents but the phone lines were not working so I sent an email and they replied two days later saying they were okay.

Julian Ward, 11

I’m sure Japan will recover quickly but I’m not planning to visit anytime soon. The nuclear power plants that provide a lot of electricity were knocked out so the infrastructure in Tokyo and the areas that got hit are pretty messed up.

Sayaka Hazama, 10

The schools in Japan are only open until noon for now. My family and friends are fine and they are donating right now. I’m visiting Aichi this summer which is in the middle of Japan. It is probably a little dangerous, but I want to go.



In proposing guns on college campuses, Perry creates discord


hen the Greek goddess Eris tossed the golden Apple of Discord, the Trojan war engulfed the Aegean sea. With as much audacity and carelessness as Eris, Governor Rick Perry issued his own Apple of Discord by promoting legislation designed to allow college students to carry concealed firearms on school campuses. If this piece of legislation is ratified, chaos will prevail. When Texas legislatures vote, they should throw away the proposition. Rick Perry’s logic is severely askew. He needs to realize he’s not in a movie, but in a very real world where guns kill good people. In the Die Hard series, protagonist, John McClane is able to single-handedly defeat deranged individuals, unstable victims of society and vengeful maniacs after finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately, very few McClanes exist, but all too many deranged, unstable, and vengeful people pervade society. This isn’t Hollywood and this flaw is all too real. Carrying concealed firearms will not avert college campus disasters. It might, however, be an antecedent for another.

The massacres that occurred on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007,the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, or the UT shooting in 1966 was a by product of psychopathic behavior and mental instability. Legalizing the concealment of weapons in college campuses will not prevent overstressed, unstable, and psychopathic students from opening fire. It will only succeed in exacerbating the problem, because guns do not belong on school campuses. College campuses are a breeding ground for accidents sand teenage fighting. Instead of using backwards thinking to patch up a serious situation, legislatures should throw out Rick Perry’s spoiled fruit and focus on student instability. College campuses should train teachers to recognize high-risk students and then provide an appropriate expert evaluation and treatment. The monetary cost would be a fraction of what it would cost to hire more security guards while proving substantially more effective in fixing the problem at its roots. Perry’s gun legislation must be thrown away to rot, before it dispels chaos and discord.

| NATALIE FELSEN | opinions editor


olonel Moammar Gadhafi, the tyrannical r u l e r of Libya, does not know how to take a hint. As his neighboring dictators, Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, abdicate their thrones, Gadhafi has chosen to crazily cling to what little power he has left by waging war against his own people. His horrendous actions, if left unchecked, could throw Libya into civil war; Gadhafi must step down before any more blood is shed. As democratic rebels seize control of the eastern half of the country, Gadhafi has deployed battalions of mercenaries to kill his own people. Soldiers armed with AK-47s fire into crowds of protestors, while helicopter guns rain metallic terror from the sky. Libyan diplomats Britain to Sweden have resigned as nearly 2,000 Libyans have died in pursuit of freedom. Gadhafi’s country is literally falling apart before his eyes, yet he seems unable to fathom losing power. In characteristically rambling speeches, Gadhafi has declared that “they will die to protect me, my people” and has even denied the existence of the uprisings themselves. His delusion, combined with his callous indifference towards human life, make it clear that he needs to go. In an effort to shake him from power, the US and European governments are carrying out a joint airstrike campaign designed to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Engagement in such military actions is an aggressive attack on a sovereign nation; President Obama has thus submitted a bill to Congress requesting a declaration of war. Though the US is still engaged in Afghanistan, action against Gadhafi’s forces is undoubtedly justified. While war is terrible, civil war would be worse still. The writing is on the wall—Gadhafi’s days are numbered. Impassioned Libyans are dying for liberty as their dictator grasps at ephemeral vestiges of authority. Yet, with international intervention, their sacrifices will not have been in vain—Gadhafi will vanish, and democracy will finally prevail.

Bamboozled, hoodwinked and hornswaggled by Perry


n The Chronicle’s November 2010 issue, I wrote a column endorsing Rick Perry’s third consecutive run for the governorship. In light of Texas’s budget crisis, however, I now wish to rescind my support for Gov. Perry. His careless actions will inevitably cause the quality of education here at Franklin, and around the state, to deteriorate, a sad reality that could have been avoided with better fiscal management. In my November article, I praised Perry’s financial capability, noting how he cut taxes while shrinking the 2003 budget deficit. According to Perry’s campaign website, all this was true. Yet, the day after Perry’s latest inauguration, his office released the news that Texas is facing a $16 billion budget shortfall. To add insult to injury, if left untreated, that number is expected to reach $27 billion within the next two years. This disaster has mushroomed under Perry’s watch and could easily have been prevented; instead, the state kept spending, leaving future generations our generation - to face the consequences. In an attempt to balance the budget, the 81st Texas Legislature has announced $5 billion dollars in cuts to public school spending per year over the course of the next two-year budget cycle. This action will have jolting ramifications for the Franklin student body. Because EPISD is facing $64 million in budget cuts, up to 40 teachers must be laid off from Franklin alone by the school year’s end, causing class sizes to balloon. Programs such as fine arts will be slashed significantly, while our blocked schedule must change to save money. For seniors, their financial aid packages from state-supported schools will shrink considerably as universities pinch pennies. Despite the dismal effects on Texas public school education, the legislature refuses to raise taxes to fill the budget hole - unsurprising in a Republican-controlled congress, but fiscally foolish nevertheless. Perry has also refused to accept emergency federal aid or use the multibillion dollar Rainy Day Fund, which was designed to support public education in the event of an emergency. This is certainly an emergency situation - yet Perry seems loath to take any actions other than slashing through social services with his red pen. Still, I do not believe Houston mayor Bill White should have been elected to take Perry’s place. Though a capable politician, Democratic White would have been lambasted for a problem that he did not create. It is fitting that Rick Perry should mop up his mess; if only he, along with the state legislature, could get their heads out of the sand and do it responsibly.



section editor • rhianna tapia []

|BLITHE PARSONS | reporter


wo art students, Nicole Carleton and Ilse Herrera, will travel to Houston to present their artwork, as a part of V.A.S.E. (Visual Arts Student Exhibition) competition on April 8-9. Carleton and Herrera will accompanied by three other artists from EPISD. “We will explore the Houston art scene and visit museums, along with participating in workshops and interacting with the other artists,” Carleton said. “At the end of the day, the judges will present Gold Seal awards.” The regional competition was held on Feb. 26 at Americas High School, and involved students from Art I-III and AP Art. Each student had the choice to

Junior Nicole Carleton will be taking AP Art next year. “I’m looking forward to putting together a real portfolio,” she said. Carleton often works in mixed media photo by Carl Carleton

| JENNIFER TELLEZ | reporter arning two first divisions ratings, one each from the EPISD Jazz Festival and the Hanks Jazz Contests, assistant jazz band director Daniel Allen is satisfied with the season. “We were pleased with getting a first division at both of the festivals,” Allen said. “Not all the bands at the EPISD Festival got first divisions.” Jazz band II featured senior Lauren Estrada on tenor saxophone, freshman Josh Martinez and junior Elizabeth Kramer on alto saxophone, freshman Daniel Cusick on flugelhorn, freshman Riley Ringer on drums, and sophomore Sean Templin on bass guitar throughout their songs. They played “Caution: Contents Under Pressure,” “Level the Playing Field,” and “Time to Say Goodbye.”


bring one or two pieces of any medium. “V.A.S.E. is the only art show where the kids actually get to participate,” art teacher Constance Wright said. Wright says at most competitions the artists merely hang their work and do not have the opportunity for a critique. Students spent a total of 8 min- Herrera utes with an individual judge who gave them a rank of 1-4. One was considered below average, 2 as average, 3 as excellent, and 4 as superior. Students who received fours had pieces displayed,and were further judged in order to advance to the state level. Nicole Carleton and Isle Herrera, both Art I students, were the only students from Franklin to advance. “My piece was inspired by our society and how I would like to change it,” Carleton said. “The piece illustrates the idea that we are what we surround ourselves with; what goes in is what comes out.” Her art was created with mixed media including pen, marker, magazine clippings and trash. “I went around my neighborhood picking trash. I had two bags; one to clean up, and the other to store the items that I liked,” Carleton said. “The trash represents what fills our minds.” Herrera’s artwork was inspired by the street artist Banksy and was created with many colors of paper and pen and ink. “She is very gifted in her drawing abilities,” Wright said. “She was born with it and she has nurtured it.” “[My work] says there are no limits to imagination,” Herrera said. Students who did not advance still felt the competition was beneficial. “It was really fun,” sophomore Seung Maing said. “It encouraged me to keep drawing.” He had two pieces in the competition. The art contest will not be based on the judges’ subjective taste. Rather, the pieces will be evaluated by a panel of 12 judges, using very specific criteria. “It’s not a fluke if you go to state,” Wright said.

“In jazz II, the kids did a great job on their music,” head band director Bruce Beach said. “The band consists mostly of freshmen and sophomores, but there are a few older kids in there, too.” The top jazz band strives to maintain old records and create new ones, earning 15 division 1 ratings since 1995. This focus on excellence assisted jazz band members in a last minute change of song—they had to learn a whole new ballad right before contest. “We had to change our ballad two weeks before contest because we changed our second song,” Beach said. “The kids did a great job on focusing and getting that song learned.” See Jazz band continued on p. 16

Rising for his flugelhorn solo in “Time to Say Goodbye,” freshman Daniel Cusick says performing is a piece of cake. “I enjoy playing the solo. It’s not necessarily hard, but it’s about being able to play it musically, that is,” Cusick said. photo by Octavio Lopez


Classically Chic, Woman and Child


Kim Rayos, Aaron Machen

| IAN BAKER & STEPHANIE AVALOS | design editor & editor in chief rom-goers will have the opportunity to experience an ‘Arabian Adventure in the Desert’ on Saturday, April 9 when PTSA hosts “Treasure the Night,” at the downtown El Paso Performing Arts Center. The location has changed from previous years, when the event was held at the Camino Real Hotel. “We have just outgrown the Camino. There are over 1300 seniors and juniors eligible to attend this event, not including their dates, who may or may not be juniors or seniors.” PTSA President Mary Ann Giba said. “If we stayed at the Camino, we would have had to put a stop purchase on tickets at a certain number in order to meet fire code. Rather than do that, we decided that we needed a larger facility.” With the new venue, opportunity for expansion will be a plus, Giba says. “By having the prom at the El Paso Performing Arts Center, every junior, senior and all of their dates can attend,” Giba said. “The capacity is well above 3,000 people. Even with a larger number attending, there will be plenty of room to move around and we are able to provide a huge dance floor.” Giba says that decorating possibilities will also be vast with the amount of space that is available. “I absolutely think that everyone will love the new venue. It is going to be such a nice look and have plenty of room to move around, dance and mingle,” Giba said. “There will be twinkling lights and colored lights, awesome decorations, a great disco with laser lights, a fog machine, a big dance floor, great drinks and food and hopefully every senior and junior.” For senior Alex Wilts, the venue change is just a detail that will contribute to a memorable experience. “The venue change is for the best because we won’t be so crowded on the dance floor so people will actually be able to move,” Wilts said. “It’s my senior year, this is my last school dance and I want to enjoy it. It may not be as nice as the Camino Real, but it’s just a location and shouldn’t affect the experience. It doesn’t matter the place it is as long as you’re with good people.”

On the contrary, senior student council president Rebecca Brady finds the venue an important aspect of the event. “It’s kind of a let down going from something as classy as the Camino to a place where they hold events for small children,” Brady said. “I understand that the idea of moving to a larger facility was to provide room for all in attendance; however, every year students who aren’t juniors or seniors, and aren’t accompanied by upperclassmen as a date, end up at the dance. If the dance floor is promising, that would be great because it is always crowded. But if it remains around the same size, it will be pointless.” But regardless of a location change, usual traditions remain in tact. “The queen will wear a long white formal dress and the king will wear a white tuxedo with tails,” Giba said. “ There will be a long walk to the stage and coronation will be at 7:30.” For Queen Esosa Usen, these traditions simply contribute to the prom court experience with senior princes Aaron Machen, Calder Hussmann, Seth Beltran, prince consort Rafael Hinojos, princesses Kim Rayos, Megan Terrazas, Victoria Foster, Lady-inWaiting Annick Rivas and King Ifechi Nduka. The queen is making light of the event. “It’s an unofficial wedding, if we don’t get legally married, prom will be our unofficial marriage,” Usen said. “The only thing I want is to be Ifechi’s partner, but I’m scared and don’t want to mess up everything we do.” Prince Seth Beltran is also excited about his partnered princess. “It’s funny that Victoria and I are partners because we’re always joking around that we’re husband and wife,” Beltran said. Despite her concerns, Brady feels that the theme is appropriate to the year and will end the senior class’ high school experience on a high note. “I’m excited about the prom theme. The PTSA always does a great job in giving us something to be proud of,” Brady said. “‘Treasure the Night’ is the perfect theme to end our final year in high school, as it was a treasure.”

Megan Terrazas, Calder Hussmann

Seth Beltran, Victoria Foster

Annick Rivas, Rafael Hinojos

treasure the



Waving flags that represent broken stained glass windows, sophomore varsity Focus member Hannah Warnock tries to find her center. • In addition to opening the show and doing a series of handstands throughout it, sophomore Chanel Hsiang represents the struggle of getting over a heartbreak. photo by Octavio Lopez

Varsity guard qualifies for nationals | JENNIFER TELLEZ | reporter


s they prepare for nationals in Dayton, Ohio from April 5-9, the winter guard has had plenty of practice—and success. Having taken first place at the Franklin and Hanks Winter Guard Festivals, and placing ninth out of 40 guards at regionals in Dallas in early March, the members feel that these experiences have helped prepare them for the competition ahead. “We’ve done well at the four or five competitions we’ve been to,” junior Emily Guerra said. “Our biggest success was at Winter Guard International in California. We placed 3rd out of nine guards.” The varsity show, entitled “Seek. Find. Balance” has a zen-spirituality feel to it, instructor Scott Montoya said. “’Seek. Find. Balance’ is about finding inner peace and enlightenment. At the beginning of the show, it’s very heavy; we’re searching. You can see it in our faces and our movement,” varsity guard captain Vianei Ponce said. “By the end, you can see exultation.”

Jazz band cont. from p. 12 Jazz 1 played “Copy Cat,” “Roxanne,” and “La Cama Del Diablo” featuring sophomore saxophone soloist Andrea Pazos in “Roxanne”

As the concept of the show is of a spiritual nature, the floor mat, props and costumes reflect that otherworldly concern, and the music, an instrumental piece, creates a heavenly ambiance. “[The paint splattered] uniforms are supposed to represent candles melting down, almost like in a cathedral behind backdrops that are also paint splattered,” Poncé said. “The floor represents a marble floor, like one in a chapel.” However, the varsity guard was not alone in taking the floor. Due to increased interest in the program, Montoya created a second j.v. guard. This second guard offers multiple benefits to both the student performers and the program. “We knew we wanted to go to nationals and to do that we had some individuals that were young and weren’t quite ready to go. They are skilled, but not quite ready for the next level,” Montoya said. “[We have] the j.v. guard to train them, compete, and to still be part of the team.” To emphasize the unity of the two segments of the guard, Montoya created a logo that adorns the backs of the team shirts. “This year’s winter guard shirt says ‘two teams:

one focus,” Montoya said. “Even though we’re two teams, we’re still one focus.” While the varsity guard program was concerned with spiritual matters, the j.v. guard show centered around love gone bad. The program was inspired by Christina Aguilera’s song, “You lost me.” “[Christina Aguilera] was broken hearted. Part of her wants to be robotic; get rid of everything. But then, she still loves the guy,” Montoya said. The costumes, half pink and feminine, half silver, black and robotic, represent the split reaction to a broken heart. A large pink heart is painted on the left side of the mat. “The kids are showing the whole struggle of letting the person go. That’s why they have the split uniform,” Montoya said. In the end, one plus one equals family, according to the members of both guards. “Members of both teams are like family because we spend so much time together rehearsing, cracking jokes, and sharing endless moments that will last a lifetime,” Poncé said. “We can have all the jokes and stories we want, but during performance, it’s full on focus.”

and “La Cama Del Diablo.” “I had the feature part in ‘Roxanne,’ which is pretty much the whole song. In ‘La Cama,’ I had an improv solo in the solo section,” Pazos said. “I was just given the parts.” Despite earning a division 1, Beach says his band didn’t do so well at the Hanks festival, he believes that they did a 360 at EPISD. “We got a first division, but we didn’t place,”

Beach said. “But we turned around and did very well at EPISD. We got straight ones at EPISD and we got an 81 at Hanks.” Even though the competitive part of jazz band is over, the band will still continue to play. “We’ll probably go play at the elementary schools even though we’re done competing,” Allen said. “We still have some more performances left.”



|BLITHE PARSONS | reporter


alf a cup of broccoli and small bowl of chicken noodle soup. This is the only meal for the rest of the day so, junior Marilyn Smith* must make it last. For Smith, the struggle to be thin has been a battle for the last two years. She is currently in a rehabilitation unit for her disorder and has been there since Nov. 1. “I was first diagnosed with exercise bulimia and then with anorexia nervosa when I got down to 70 pounds,” she said. “Running was taken away from me as well as my determination and energy.” However, Smith is far from being alone in her battle against eating disorders. Sophomore Sofi Hernandez*, who spent a year in a rehabilitation center in Kansas City, feels her disorder was primarily influenced by media and peers. “I constantly compared myself to others and felt I could never measure up,” Hernandez said. Anorexia nervosa, a mental disorder that affects “in the United

risk of osteoporosis at a later age, and the loss of hair. In the case of bulimia, where the individual makes herself/himself vomit, there may be damage to the teeth due to stomach acids. Smith knows the negative consequences only too well, as her eating disorder landed her in the hospital not long before being transferred to the rehabilitation unit. “I was in Providence Hospital for three weeks for low weight and a lot of weight loss,” she said. She was also admitted for hypothermia due to a body temperature of 94 degrees. For sufferers, the disease becomes a constant battle. As the battle continues, the disorder becomes harder to handle, Smith says. “Weight control becomes a substitute for controlling the real issues in their lives over which women may feel they have no control,” said Catrina Brown, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D., an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at Dalhousie

“Weight control becomes a substitute for controlling the real issues in their lives over which women may feel they have no control. Many ‘Type-A’ personalities struggle with eating disorders as a way of maintaining a handle on life.” | DR. CATRINA BROWN, | States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males” according to the National Center for Health Statistics, is as a disease that creates an instilled desire to restrict food in an effort to reach a selfstarved state of being. The less the individual eats, the more powerful he or she feels. Selfstarvation is a way to control one’s environment. “It feels so amazing and strong for a certain period of time and then you have to keep doing it,” Smith said. However, the consequences are anything but powerful. In fact, they can debilitate the body. Harmful health effects include the yellowing of skin, an increased

University in Halifax. Many “TypeA” personalities struggle with eating disorders as a way of maintaining a handle on life. In treatment, guests are “challenged” in meeting their nutritional needs. They meet with nutritionists and discuss meal plans specialized for the patient’s weight. If a patient fails to meet the meal requirements, he or she is forced to drink a supplemental drink shake. “It’s very hard and [the meals] are all fear foods,” Smith said. Fear foods include foods with high concentrations of fat or calories such as dessert. “They made me drink Ensure supplements,” Hernandez said. “I thoroughly hated them, although at

According to Eating Disorders Coalition, eating disorders have the highest rate of mortality of any mental illness. Females comprise 90 percent of eating disorders between the ages of 12 and 25. photo by Briana Sanchez this point I was determined to become healthy, so I persisted and ate ‘scary foods’ like ice cream, French fries, burgers, and brownies.” Being in rehabilitation, however, is no retreat getaway. Patients go under intense group therapy and are forced to stray away from the high school experience. “I can’t have a boyfriend because I’m not home,” Smith said. “And why would he want to be with an anorexic?” Her struggles go deeper than that, however. “I have to do school online which is expensive,” Smith said. In the end, Smith says, the affliction ultimately lowers self esteem. “You kind of lose faith in yourself, your life and accomplishments.” Recovery is the ultimate goal for those in treatment, but the struggles with food may always be present. “You will always have those thoughts and urges in your mind, even if they are weak,” Smith said. Hernandez agrees. “Everyone has baggage whether it is from an eating disorder or other life experiences,” Hernandez said.

“That being said, I believe you can stop the destructive patterns of eating disorders and ease into healthful patterns again.” *Names have been changed to protect privacy

Did you know… •1 in 5 women struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating (National Institute of Mental Health) •Eating Disorders affect up to 24 million Americans and 70 million individuals worldwide (The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders) •90 % of those who have eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25 (SAMHSA) •It is estimated that currently 11% of high school students have been diagnosed with an eating disorder (ANAD) •While women are more commonly affected by eating disorders, more than a million men and boys battle the illness every day ( •Or that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness?



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marry or not to marry? This question is bubbling inside the minds of 21st century couples. The conventional “I do’s” have polarized to “I do not’s,” with just one conclusion drawn from the change of heart. Marriage is no longer a tradition. According to the Pew Research Center, in 1960, 72% of American couples tied the knot, but recent studies have shown the institution of marriage has declined by almost 20%. Varying factors play a key role in marriage failure, high divorce rates and the aversion to marriage. Some include the desire to avoid divorce, a need for financial stability and the educational background of the potential spouse.

“I’m a single parent and even though I’m dating someone, I don’t think I’ll ever get married,” senior Belinda Gonzalez said. “When you’re a mom, looking for a relationship becomes more like a job interview because it’s not just about your needs anymore. You have to look for someone that has the perfect package and is generally stable.” Despite the belief that marriage is an unrealistic option for her, Gonzalez refuses to let being single become an issue in raising her daughter. “It seems normal to raise a child on your own or be single,” Gonzalez said. “If I find somebody my daughter will have two parents to look up to, but she doesn’t necessarily need that to grow up as a wholesome person.”

| RHIANNA TAPIA | features editor Senior Briana Sanchez be more difficult for him to formed her views on tying achieve. the knot after witnessing “I have had some horrible the difficulties of a single struggles for being gay, but parent’s love life. that doesn’t mean I’m going “My parents were raised to change who I am or what with strong Catholic values I believe in,” Alonso said. “I and they thought that if feel completely angry and they raised their children absolutely disagree with with the same values, people who are opposed their children would turn to same sex-marriages. It’s out okay,” Sanchez said. cynical of those people “Despite that and growing to say they feel that up in a stable home, homosexual marriages are my older brother ended doomed to fail, when in up getting his girlfriend reality, the highest rates pregnant in high school, in divorce come from marrying and divorcing her. heterosexual couples.” My parents did not think However, Alonso still this would ever happen appreciates traditional to them, but they still marriages. supported my brother.” “I deeply respect Even so, Sanchez and admire traditional maintains an optimistic marriages, but it’s 2011 and belief of marriage. “My traditional and old doesn’t view on marriage, even always work anymore,” after everything, has not Alonso said. “These are shifted. I am a strong times where new and believer in fate and two innovative things are people being able to live happening, and I believe until death do them part,” that marriage is about to Sanchez said. “My brother evolve.” may have gone through With anticipation for this some hard times, but it evolution, senior Esther has not affected my views Holguin, who is lesbian, on love and commitment. hopes that the opposition I believe every person to same sex marriages will is capable of dedicating shift. themselves to someone for “With the way that a lifetime.” society is progressing, I Even with the belief that don’t think there will be any person can find a soul many struggles, and I hope mate, senior Aaron Alonso, that they do because my who is gay, feels that the fiancée and I plan to marry hope of getting married will in three years,” Holguin

said. “ We decided to get married in Canada during the summer, and if any issues come about, we will both overcome them with each other’s support.” With a spectrum of situations affecting marriage decisions, one constant factor remains: do you really love the person you are about to walk down the aisle with? “When you know, you know. When you don’t, you don’t,” Sanchez said. “The idea of marriage for a lifetime still exists, and the failure of marriage is selfinflicted, so only say the words, ‘til death do us part’ when you mean it.”

The following survey was conducted online at In total, 230 individuals took the survey, with 81 of them being male and 149 female. The questions were based on a study on social demographic trends conducted by the Pew Research Center and a report done by Time Magazine. Your responses are as follows:

Do you eventually want to get married? yes (91.7%, 211 respondents) no (8.3%, 19 respondents)

Do you agree or disagree that there is only one true love per person?

agree (50.4%, 116 respondents) disagree (49.5% 114 respondents)

Do you believe marriage should last a lifetime? yes (72.6%, 167 respondents) no (27.4, 63 respondents)

Is it good or bad that more bad (76.1% 175 respondents) gay/lesbian couples are rais- Does a child need both parents to grow up happily? ing children? good (54.8%, 126 respondents) bad (45.2% 104 respondents)

yes (38.3%, 88 respondents) bad (61.7% 142 respondents)

Is it good or bad for society that more unmarried couples Is it good or bad that more Is marriage becoming a thing single women are raising of the past? are raising children? yes (46.5%, 107 respondents) good (27.8%, 64 respondents) children alone? bad (72.2% 166 respondents)

good (23.9%, 55 respondents)

no (53.3% 123 respondents)



Texas had the 4th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country in 2005. That’s up one notch from 5th highest in 2000. Texas ranks just behind New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, according to the Guttmacher Institute ( photo by Victoria Quinonez

Teen moms share personal experiences | FAITH PETTENGILL | reporter


taring down at the two pink lines on the home pregnancy test, her heart is racing at the speed of light. Her mind isn’t too far behind. Wishing she could just go back, reality kicks in. Freshman *Heather Wright is pregnant. “Honestly, I wanted a baby because of the fact that I would never feel alone again. There are just times when you want someone to love you and you feel like no one’s there,” Wright said. “I know it’s a stupid thought but it just made sense to me at times.” Cynthia Rosengard, PhD, a researcher in internal medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of medicine at Brown Medical School feels that the people surrounding the teenager have the job of ensuring they don’t feel alone. “We need to help teenagers identify ways to connect with others in life besides motherhood,” Rosengard said. “If those connections are lacking in a teenager’s life, that’s something we all need to look at whether we’re parents, teachers, or physicians.” In Wright’s situation, overlooked consequences seem to outweigh the initial “good” intention of her actions.

“About two weeks after I found out, I had a miscarriage. I was so scared,” Wright said. “I was definitely sad, but it was a moment of clarity in my mind telling me I was just not ready and now was not the time.” According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 80 percent of teen moms are also single moms and only 20 percent of teen fathers marry their child’s teen mom. About to be a single parent, Wright did not have the support of the baby’s father. “Things weren’t good with us to begin with. I didn’t think that having a baby would make him stay with me, but I hoped,” Wright said. Sometimes, statistics are just statistics and teen parents are able to stay together. When sophomore *Miranda Sanchez thought she might be pregnant, she wasn’t sure about the future of her relationship with her boyfriend. “I was scared to tell him. I thought it would be the end of our relationship and I would be alone,” Sanchez said. “When we found out for sure, he actually stuck around and didn’t get mad. He’s excited now.” The effects of teenage pregnancy on relationships don’t stop at just boyfriends, but also the families of teen mothers-to-be. “Learning that your teen is having a baby, you experience a wide range of emotions, from shock and disappointment to grief and worry about the future. Some parents feel a sense of guilt, thinking that if only they’d done more to protect their child, this wouldn’t

•The pregnancy rate among American teens rose 3 percent in 2006 (the latest year for which statistics are available), teen birth rates rose 4 percent, and abortion rates were up 1 percent. Overall, about 7.2 percent of girls ages 15 through 19 became pregnant in 2006, compared with nearly 7 percent in 2005. •New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Texas, have current teenage pregnancy rates hovering near 10 percent. New York has a 4 percent pregnancy rate. •President Obama eliminated abstinenceonly education funding and has instead set aside $100 million for comprehensive sex education programs to prevent teen pregnancies.

have happened,” Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D., professor of child development and director of the Center for Children and Families at Teacher’s College, Columbia University said. Gunn says that parents of the expectant children have a variety of reactions. “Although some parents are embarrassed by their teen’s pregnancy and worried about how others will react, others are happy about the news of a soon-to-be grandchild.” But many agree that the pregnant teen, in facing the new life ahead, must find it within herself to accept the thousands of changes buzzing around her head and in her body, while keeping up with a regular teenage life. Clare J Seamark, MD, MRCGP, MFFP, General Practitioner and Pamela Lings, PhD, Qualitative Researcher of the The Honiton Group Practice conducted a qualitative study on the positive effects of teenage motherhood and found that many previous assumptions were disproved. “Often they had seen motherhood as the turning point that helped them to see what they wanted to do with their lives,” Seamark said. “Although they realized that they had missed out on some of the experiences of their contemporaries, they saw motherhood as more rewarding. They were optimistic about their futures and often planning new careers.”

“Honestly, I wanted a baby because of the fact that I would never feel alone again. There are just times when you want someone to love you and you feel like no one’s there.” |*Heather Wright| When it comes to teenage pregnancy, Lings believes that it is all about how you perceive the situation. “Contrary to the idea that a teenage pregnancy ruins a young woman’s life, and that it signifies the end of her education and aspirations for the future, the experiences of these young women were positive and adaptive,” Lings said. Teens like Sanchez brace themselves for the challenges ahead. “I’m still 15. I turn 16 in a couple weeks and I know I’m going to have to get a job,” Sanchez said. “I am disappointed in myself because I know I could’ve waited but I look at it like a blessing. A child is a blessing.” *names have been changed to protect privacy

•Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association blames teenage pregnancy on “an oversexualized culture, lack of involved and positive role models, and the dominant message that teen sex is expected and without consequences.” •The US has the highest rate of teen pregnancy, birth and abortion in the industrialized world. •Nearly 4 out of 10 U.S. girls will become pregnant at least once before age 20. •The teen father he must pay child support for 18 years (even if he is under 18). If payment is not made, he can be arrested, have his possessions confiscated, and have his wages docked.

•A sexually active teen who does not use a contraceptive has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year. •Less than half of teen mothers ever graduate from high school and fewer than 2% earn a college degree by age 30. •About one-fourth of teen moms have a second child within 24 months of the first birth which can further delay their ability to finish school or keep a job. •8 out of 10 fathers don’t marry the mother of their child and many absent fathers pay less than $800 annually for child support. •Not having sex at all is the only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy.

sources: Deborah Kotz, U.S. News & World Report;


section editors • camille gonzalez [] & megan cahalan []

Red Riding Hood is a dreadful walk through the woods

Battle: Los Angeles Rehashed, sci-fi story lacks originality


orrid can’t even begin to describe the foulness of Red Riding Hood, the latest folklore adaptation with an unfortunate twist. The movie claims to be a horror/romance, but it could hardly get away with making a lilylivered jitterbug tremble. Frankly speaking, Catherine Hardwicke should stop directing movies. She has a tendency to turn everything she touches into detestable mush. It’s one thing to further debase something that is, in this writer’s opinion, already dreadful literature, but it’s much more unacceptable to ruin a classic. Red Riding Hood is collection of mediocre everything. There’s no doubt that Hardwicke attempts to make every shot a work of art. Unfortunately, it’s way overdone. The majority of the acting is unconvincing and dull. Someone should have a serious talk with the casting directors, Michelle Allen and Ronna Kress. Just because an actor looks like he or she could be picked out of an underwear catalog, doesn’t necessarily make them talented. In this appalling version of Red Riding Hood, Amanda Seyfried plays the young and desirable Valerie. Though Seyfried’s acting was passable, it was the cheesy lines and overused clichés that downgraded her performance as a whole. Seyfried’s ability to deliver well thought-out emotion has progressed since her debut movie role as the ditzy blonde in Mean Girls. However, her lack of judgment in picking the

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right movie still needs to be polished, or better yet found. It would be sad if this young actress’ career hit its peek with her role in Mama Mia. Yes, her vocals were beautiful in that movie, but I wouldn’t want to be mainly known for singing Abba. Sadly, Red Riding Hood tries too hard to be wonderful in every aspect and fails miserably in every one of them. The biggest mistake of the movie could very well be its attempt to become a thriller. This is the type of flick a group of girls would see if they were in the mood for the ‘sappy love fest’ franchise that dominates teen pop culture. It’s not worth the money spent to see it. It could possibly pass as a Red Box one-nighter, but even that could be pushing it.

Yellowcard’s ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes’ delivers nostalgic pop-punk | MEGAN CAHALAN | entertainment editor


op-punk band Yellowcard couldn’t have picked a better time to come out of their “indefinite hiatus.” With vocals accompanied by multiple layers of auto-tune and performers who can’t sing any better than they dress, the music world is in need of some good, old-fashioned pop-punk. The bands brings just that with the new release of their seventh studio album, When You’re Through Thinkphoto courtesy of poping, Say Yes. Currently signed to a brand new label, Hopeless Records, the band is starting out fresh, while still reeling in the music scene that dominated the early 2000s. “For You and Your Denial,” the first single fans

| NICOLE ROSEN | reporter n between overly drawn out war scenes, typical action movie clichés, and groan worthy lines, Battle: Los Angeles is your average, substance-lacking blockbuster. Jumping from one alien combat scene to the next, the film consists of cardboard, misguided characters who probably should’ve stuck to romantic comedies instead of fighting off hordes of alien invaders (ahem, Aaron Eckhart). The underlying theme of the film is, “Marines never quit,” and acts as more of a recruitment video than a sci-fi action thriller. The only source of solace comes in form of the CGI effects, which paint a convincing picture of under-siege Los Angeles. For years, there have been documented UFO sightings all over the world, but what were once sightings turns into a full-on alien invasion. When the great cities of the world crumble under the attacks, LA remains the last human resistance point on the planet. The future of the remaining human population rests on the shoulders of Marine staff sergeant, Michael Nantz and his team to face the invaders and save the world. Jumping on the “Oh no! Earth-is underattack-by-aliens-who-want to-exterminate-the-human-race! We-need-a-hero!” bandwagon, the film borrows heavily from the plots of previous sci-fi action thrillers, such as War of the Worlds and District 9. It is a saddening and frustrating thought to consider our generation cannot create original ideas to produce a decent action film with memorable lines and acting. The acting is not a strong point. While many of the actors have had experience with action films, and possess the ability to perform their roles convincingly, the same cannot be said for the remaining slew. Unfortunately, Battle: Los Angeles will entertain only the most devoted action junkies, and will fall flat with moviegoers possessing an IQ score of over 100.


| CAMI GONZALEZ | entertainment editor

have heard since 2007, begins with the classic Yellowcard touch: an elegant violin mixed in with energetic guitar riffs. The song represents a band that actually knows what they’re doing when picking a single. The first slow track and also the second released, “Hang You Up” is a combination of lead singer’s side project, Big If, and the former Yellowcard, revealing refreshing, new elements hidden in the band’s songwriting style. Lyrically, the album is quite simple, but the words are full of enough nostalgia that you wish you were back in the past right along with Key and the rest of the band, which is definitely an interesting quality. Due to their hiatus, the band is still climbing the pop-punk ladder to reach the superiority they once had. However, with When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, Yellowcard is guaranteed to be on the top of the scene in no time.


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Forever the Sickest Clichés and worn-out story lines infiltrate Take Kids disappoints Me Home Tonight with sophomore | MEGAN CAHALAN | album irector Michael Dowse obviously | M. CAHALAN | entertainment editor


fter almost two years since their last release, Forever the Sickest Kids have re-entered the music world with a sophomore album. The band is known for their candy-coated pop tunes mixed in with a hint of rock, creating a unique ambience of sounds. However, their new self-titled record may be a little too sugary sweet. “Keep on Bringing Me Down,” a single that’s been leaked since June of last year, sets the album off in a misleading tone, with powerful beats and memorable verses. But the songs go down hill from there. Almost every track creates a sense of déjà vu; the lyrics and melodies have all been done before. Despite the album reaching number ten in iTunes and number six on the pop charts, it’s just another example of how too much of a good thing can turn out badly. The album is mediocre compared to the bands first fulllength, Underdog Alma Mater, released in 2008. The songs are enough to give you a stomachache with the unnecessary auto-tuned vocals and bland choruses. It’s clear the band has lost what little edge they had to their sound. “I Guess You Can Say Things Are Getting Pretty Serious” does resemble Forever the Sickest Kid’s original pop-rock vibe, but the comparisons end there. The rest of the songs are either unoriginal, or just bad in general. “Life of the Party” sounds suspiciously like Rhianna’s overplayed “Umbrella” in the chorus and “My Forever Girl” goes way past the line of cheesy, making the listening experience painful. The most predictable track of the album, “Summer Song,” only adds to the boring compilation of summer anthems that almost every band in their scene has done in the past. I’ll admit the songs do get stuck in your head, but it’s in more of a frustrating way than a good way. The overly vibrant pop tone and mainstream lyrics make it seem as though the band is writing music to be played on some “Top Forty Hits” station, rather than for their dedicated fans. Generally, a self-titled album is a chance for a band to define themselves, but this record only makes it clear Forever the Sickest Kids are stuck in an inescapable, conventional rut. photo courtesy of


entertainment editor

doesn’t realize that, in today’s world, high-tech robots and suspenseful films are bringing in all the box office sales. Only one thing really stands out about Take Me Home Tonight, an intended comedy set in the ‘80s: Dowse is no John Hughes. Sure, the film is perfect for those harboring too much nostalgia for leg warmers and Members Only jackets, but for the rest, it’s just an unnecessary and cliché blast from the past. The film is centered around college graduate Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) who is still hung up on his high school crush Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer), the classic “I’m never going to get the girl because she doesn’t know I’m alive” story that’s been rehashed so many times. Matt is too scared to find out what he wants to do with his life, forcing him to live with his parents and work at a low-rate video store. But one night changes everything (yet another cliché plot line), and Matt finds himself facing all his fears. The plot progressively gets better as Matt faces certain trials, and it’s all really powerful and inspiring, until you walk out of the theater and forget about the less than average two hours you just witnessed. There’s absolutely no reason for the movie to be set in a different time period; the plot could have been just as effective, or maybe not

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in this case, if it were in today’s setting. Even though the cast is complete with colorful outfits and obnoxious attitudes, there are elements of contemporary life sprinkled in, making it hard to believe the characters are 30 years in the past. Topher Grace does an excellent job of portraying the awkward nerd but let’s face it: since his slot on That ‘70s Show, that’s all he’ll ever be considered. Dan Fogler, who plays Barry, is an ideal person to play the sidekick, but his antics provide few laughs for someone who’s supposed to be the comedic relief to Matt’s depressing life. In short, Take Me Home Tonight doesn’t even compare to the classics of the ‘80s. Sadly, it’s just a failed attempt at digging up the past.

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‘The Valley’ is sweet harmony

|CAMI GONZALEZ|entertainment editor merging from the small town scene of Tyler, TX, indie-pop band, Eisley, released its third full-length album on March 1, after signing with Equal Vision Records in November of last year. The group of three sisters, a brother, and a cousin percolate a sound all their own. The Valley is pretty much any indie kid’s dream come true. Lead vocalist, Stacy DuPree’s soft melodic voice is surreal and helps emphasize the band’s trademark sound. With the combination of clean guitar rifts and piano, each song gives off the rare warmth known from past records. The album consists of a nice, unexpected variation between tracks. Each song has a distinct personality. It is a daring project, venturing into darker waters than their previous, more dreamlike, album. The Valley manages to retain the appealing quality that defines Eisley while it goes into the reality of everyday life trials of love, loss, and triumphs. The first track to make a statement is the title track. “The Valley” kicks off the album with a


heavy instrumental riff that is both smooth and spirited, establishing the mood of the album right off the bat. “Smarter” follows, as a song that has a much more mellow ambiance to it, readying the listener by setting a somber mood and then progressing into the perfect break-up song. The lyrics are poetically idyllic and accentuate the strong feminine power in the sisters’ vocals; but the voice that helps amplify the song into being absolutely beauteous is middle sister, Sherri DuPree. Like lilacs floating in the spring-filled breeze, Sherri’s vocal talents entrance the listener. “Ambulance” is another song that adds to the love and loss ensemble, building the entire CD into a work of musical inspiration. The Valley is an album filled with brilliance and this song doesn’t disappoint. To say that the soft, yet powerful, instrumental background complements the lyrics would be selling it far too short. As the final track on the album, “Ambulance” is the curtain close to this masterpiece of an album and leaves the listener wanting more.



Nothing beautiful about ‘Beastly’ | NICOLE ROSEN | reporter


ove is never ugly” is the slogan for the ambitious romantic drama, Beastly. The movie is based off the Alex Flinn novel of the same name, which is primarily a modern retelling of the classic story, Beauty and the Beast. At first glance, Beastly appears as just another movie exploring the true meaning of inner beauty while set in contemporary New York City, setting up a promising experience. Well, think again, my-soon-tobe-disappointed-friend; Beastly is anything but interesting. It’s an embarrassment to anyone who claimed the movie looked worthwhile based off of the promising trailers. The movie stars “it” boy, Alex Pettyfer playing Kyle Kingston, the good-looking, popular protagonist of the story, with a cruel streak wider than his enormous ego. Kyle goes through life with the mindset of “how much people like is directly proportional to what you look like,” and is prone to mock and humiliate “aggressively unattractive” classmates.

When one of them, Kendra, played by Mary-Kate Olsen, turns Kyle into a hideous monster, he has a year’s time to find someone to love him or eternally be confined to his new look. In comes Lindy, played by Vanessa Hudgens, the intelligent, socially shy outsider who’s had a crush on Kyle for three years. The story from that point on is centered on Kyle’s attempts at wooing Lindy into loving him. Occasional relief from the movie’s badly written script comes in the form of Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Kyle’s witty, blind tutor. The acting is lackluster and loses the audience within 30 minutes. Regrettably it’s not just the actors, who have proven themselves in other performances, it’s the directing that casts this movie into the pit of eternal mediocrity. Though there are some aspects that are appealing, such as the chemistry between Pettyfer and Hudgens, its not enough to sit through the whole two and a half hours with patience or interest. Beastly’s name truly acts as an adjective for this disappointment of a film.

adele’s ’21’

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Mind, body merge in mesmerizing delight in Limitless | MEGAN CAHALAN | entertainment editor

|BLITHE PARSONS | reporter ompelling, truthful, and romantic, Adele’s recently released album “21” is one pleasing to not only the ears, but also the spirit. The album is a mix of soul and reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy. The entire collection of songs demonstrates that a singer/composer must not be all latex and leather to photo courtesy of have talent. Adele is an example of a serious vocalist. “Turning Tables” is a melody of a woman’s strength, something she clearly demonstrates with her powerful voice. The cover of the Cure’s “Lovesong” is a telling example of her smooth and easy style. What was once an ‘80s hit was transformed into a café melody. Not all of Adele’s songs, however, are slow and poignant tunes. “Rumor Has It” and “Rolling in the Deep” are upbeat and danceworthy. “Set Fire to the Rain,” a techno-driven song, Adele is not a performance artist, but rather a musical intellect. Her voice is clearly trained but not heavily relying on sound editing. Her style is similar to Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles. The mixture of instruments including piano and violin grant the album musical credibility. The addition of Adele’s voice and lyrics make the songs that much sweeter.



t first, Limitless may seem like just another attempt at tapping into the realm of puzzling plot lines. Director Neil Burger goes beyond that, however, as he creates a world of mesmerizing invincibility that leaves the viewer completely baffled, and in a good way. Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a dead-beat author suffering from a serious case of writer’s block. Eddie’s life is heading nowhere, until an old friend introduces him to NZT, a pill that allows him to access every aspect of his brain. Eddie soon becomes addicted as the drug leads him into a world of unbeatable thought processes, completely turning his life around. But his newfound success comes at a price, as Eddie finds himself in more dangerous situations than he ever could have predicted. What stays with the viewer the most is the question, “Can our minds really reach that point of invincibility?” The plot is a mind-bog-

gling conc e p t ; it’s hard to wrap photo courtesy of your head around the fact that a measly, little pill can turn even the most incapable human into a super genius with a four-digit IQ. Burger’s way of directing his characters to think their way out of extreme situations only demonstrates his vast amount of intelligence However, the film isn’t just focused on the complexity of deceiving the human body; there are enough fight scenes to satisfy even the extreme action-adventure enthusiast. Cooper delivers a fantastic performance that is an improvement from past roles. Then again, with cast mates like Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish, it’s hard not to produce an impressive film. Avoiding the tiring, predictable nature of most recent films, Limitless is a suspenseful, action-packed relief to the box office.



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A perfect 17-0

section editors • sarah skirmont [] & mauricio casillas []

| SARAH SKIRMONT | sports editor by rivalry, ended 0-0, but Franklin prevailed, winning 3-0 in shootouts. he varisty girls will face off “There were a couple of chances against Odessa Permian for the that Coronado could have scored,” area championship on Saturday, senior goalkeeper Julie Aguilar, who April 2 at 11 at home. has 62 out of 66 saves this season, These two teams have met three said. “There was one where the ball times since 2007, and each time, bounced wrong and went over my Permian took the win. head, and I put my finger on it, then “We’re hoping we come out more it hit the post, which scared me.” prepared,” senior sweeper Katy Compared to the first game they Hemmert said. “Permian is always played against the T-birds, the girls tough, but since we know how they believe there was a difference in play, we hope to anticipate their Coronado’s performance. game.” “They were better than the first The girls have maintained a perfect time we played them,” Gomez, who record at 17-0, and they took down has had 50 shots this season, said. Amarillo Tascosa for the bi-district “They were not out for blood, but win on Monday, March 28. they were out to win.” “We were tied at the end of the Gilmore, however, disagrees. game 1-1, and we went into double “Coronado did not play differently overtime,” Hemmert said. “Paulina than the last game,” Gilmore said. Gomez and I made our shootout, “The only difference is they played but Amarillo also made two, so it more aggressively, but we did not went into a six-shooter, and Carissa play at our usual level.” Ramirez scored the winning goal.” Gilmore believes the team’s Coach Scott Gilmore said that mentality played a role in a matchthey team cannot rest on its laurels. up that could have gone either way. “Our undefeated record is over “In a rivalry game, anything can now that we are in playoffs. We go in happen,” Gilmore said. “Although with a clean slate because the other we beat Coronado 5-0 last game, teams are aware of our undefeated this game proves that we do not title,” Gilmore said. know what is going to happen on The Coronado game, the last of any given night.” the regular season and amped up The team took the district title, but



The girls celebrate with the district trophy. Shown here are Carissa Ramirez, Cristina Reyes, Montana Montes, Emily Ortiz and Cindy Buraczyk. The team now boasts an undefeated season, making this the third time in school history. Other perfect seasons were in 2005 and 2007. photo by Briana Sanchez

they were not as fortunate last year. “Last year was a good learning experience, but this year, we wanted it,” Hemmert said. “After having it taken away from us, we wanted it that much more.” The girls say they are taking a rational approach to playoffs. “We just want to take one game at a time,” Aguilar said. The seniors hope to be as successful in playoffs as they were four years ago, when the

2008 team advanced to the regional quarter finals. “We want to do what we did freshman year, or progress farther than that,” Hemmert said. In the end, Gilmore stresses teamwork above all. “If one athlete makes a mistake, we lift her up. The team does not pound her down,” Gilmore said. “If we score, the team scores. The whole team takes the blame for the loss, and the whole team takes credit for the win.”

Boys’ soccer narrowly misses playoffs

Progressing the play, senior forward Sean Roth drives the ball forward. The Cougars fell to the T-Birds 2-1 in shootouts.The teams split the season series. photo by Briana Sanchez

| MAURICIO CASILLAS | sports editor


he boys’ varsity soccer team’s season came to an abrupt end Wednesday, March 23, as they fell to Coronado in shootouts. In order for the Cougars to have made the postseason, they needed to beat the T-Birds and hope for Socorro

to lose to Montwood. Though Socorro lost, the team was not able to finish it out in the end. “We could’ve done so much better but unfortunately we didn’t,” junior defender Adrian Gonzalez said. “We came close to playoffs, but we just couldn’t pull through in the end.” The game got off to a rough start, after senior captain Adrian Hernandez was given a red card for committing a foul in the opening minutes. However, the team still managed to force the game into shootouts. “We came really close to victory and played well with only 10 men,” Gonzalez said. “It was an uphill battle for the most of the game.” Overall, the team lost five out of their last six district games compiling a 7-9 district record. “There was a lack of scoring goals when we really needed to, we missed our opportunities and we couldn’t finish out our games,” junior mid-fielder Diego Valdez said. “We had to be determined to win since the beginning of the game.”

The second half of the season was also tough for the team with five players quitting. Senior goalkeeper Carlos Garcia acknowledges that the loss of the players took time. “With the loss of the players, we had to adjust to a lot of stuff which meant bringing players in for jv,” Garcia said. “We started playing differently, we had to touch the ball really quickly, and play much harder,” Valdez said. Despite the season’s hardships, the team still recognizes that it was a good season. “We had a good season, I think the seniors should be happy overall this season. We know we did our best,” Valdez said. “We’re going to remember the loss for next season, and it’s going to motivate us.” Ultimately, Garcia believes that the positive moments of the season outweighed the negatives. “We always played hard and helped each other. I made a lot of friends and I got to just play soccer,” Garcia said. “The games we’ve had and all the times we’ve had I’ll always remember.”


A perfect 16-0 Girls’ soccer finishes undefeated

section editors • sarah skirmont [] & mauricio casillas []


| SARAH SKIRMONT | sports editor


aving finished the regular season with a perfect 16-0 district record, the girls’ varsity soccer team prepares for their playoff match up against Amarillo Tascosa. The Cougars’ streak was challenged against Coronado in the season-ending game; however, the team ultimately prevailed winning 3-0 in shootouts. “Our undefeated record is over as soon as we go into playoffs. We go into playoffs with a clean slate because the other teams are aware of our undefeated title,” coach Scott Gilmore said. “We are going to start training again even though this was our last district game.” Their last game against Coronado kept both the fans and the players in suspense. “There were a couple of chances that Coronado could have scored,” senior goalkeeper Julie Aguilar, who has 62 out of 66 saves this season, said. “There was one where the ball bounced wrong and it went over my head, and I barely put my finger on it, then it hit the post, which scared me.” Compared to the first game they played against them, the girls believe there was a difference in Coronado’s performance. “They were better than the first time we played them,” senior Paulina

Gomez, who has had 50 shots this season, said. “They were not out for blood, but they were out to win.” Gilmore however, disagrees. “Coronado did not play differently than the last game,” Gilmore said. “The only difference is they played more aggressively, but we did not play at our usual level.” Gilmore believes the team’s mentality played a role in a matchup that could have gone either way. “In a rivalry game, anything can happen,” Gilmore said. “Although we beat Coronado 5-0 last game, this game proves that we do not know what is going to happen on a given night.” Although the team pulled off a district title, they were not as fortunate last year. “Last year was a really good learning experience for us, and this year, we wanted it,” senior sweeper Katy Hemmert said. “After having it taken away from us, we wanted it that much more.” This year, however, the team plans to go into playoffs with a level head. “We just want to take one game at a time,” Aguilar said. “We want to win the first game because we haven’t gone far into playoffs for a couple of years.” The seniors hope to be as successful in playoffs as they were four years ago.

The girls celebrate with the district trophy. Shown here are Carissa Ramirez, Cristina Reyes, Montana Montes, Emily Ortiz, Cindy Buraczyk and Katy Hemmert. The team now boasts an undefeated title, making this the third year in Franklin history. Other perfect seasons were in 2005 and 2007. photo by Briana Sanchez

“We want to do what we did freshman year, or [progress] farther than that,” Hemmert said. Although the girls have been successful this season, there have been some detrimental factors in their season. “We have had problems with injuries this year, so we have had different people playing at different times,” Gilmore said. “We have freshmen that have scored goals when seniors could

not; we have had seniors score goals when freshmen could not.” Despite these problems, the team has no doubt been strong in strategy and camaraderie. “If one of our kids makes a mistake, we lift her up. The team does not pound her down,” Gilmore said. “If we score, the team scores. The whole team takes the blame for the loss, and the whole team takes credit for the win.”

Boys’ soccer narrowly misses playoffs

Progressing the play, senior forward Sean Roth drives the ball forward. The Cougars fell to the T-Birds 2-1 in shootouts.The teams split the season series. photo by Briana Sanchez

| MAURICIO CASILLAS | sports editor


he boys’ varsity soccer team’s season came to an abrupt end last Wednesday as they fell to Coronado in shootouts. In order for the Cougars to have made the postseason, they needed to beat the T-Birds and hope for Socorro

to lose to Montwood. Though Socorro lost, the team was not able to finish it out in the end. “We could’ve done so much better but unfortunately we didn’t,” junior defender Adrian Gonzalez said. “We came close to playoffs, but we just couldn’t pull through in the end.” The game got off to a rough start, after senior captain Adrian Hernandez was given a red card for committing a foul in the opening minutes. However, the team still managed to force the game into shootouts. “We came really close to victory and played well with only 10 men,” Gonzalez said. “It was an uphill battle for the most of the game.” Overall, the team lost five out of their last six district games compiling a 7-9 district record. “There was a lack of scoring goals when we really needed to, we missed our opportunities and we couldn’t finish out our games,” junior mid-fielder Diego Valdez said. “We had to be determined to win since the beginning of the game.”

The second half of the season was also tough for the team with five players quitting. Senior goalkeeper Carlos Garcia acknowledges that the loss of the players took time. “With the loss of the players, we had to adjust to a lot of stuff which meant bringing players in for jv,” Garcia said. “We started playing differently, we had to touch the ball really quickly, and play much harder,” Valdez said. Despite the season’s hardships, the team still recognizes that it was a good season. “We had a good season, I think the seniors should be happy overall this season. We know we did our best,” Valdez said. “We’re going to remember the loss for next season, and it’s going to motivate us.” Ultimately, Garcia believes that the positive moments of the season outweighed the negatives. “We always played hard and helped each other. I made a lot of friends and I got to just play soccer,” Garcia said. “The games we’ve had and all the times we’ve had I’ll always remember.”


Top ranked boys’ track topple competition, winning 4 out of 5 meets | MAURICIO CASILLAS & ALEKSEY ZEBROWSKI | aving won the district championship title the last three years, the boys’ varsity track and field team’s winning streak has not died out, maintaining its top rank in the city this season. The Cougars are coming out of the season having taken first place in four out of five meets. As the season passes the halfway mark, the team looks set to take the district title once again. “Our expectations for the rest of the season are to not lose another meet and win districts,” head coach Kelly Hady said. “We want to qualify as many athletes to regionals, and hopefully, we can make it to state.” The team only missed getting first place once, finishing in third place in the El Paso High relay meet. “We’ve won almost every meet,” junior Felix Obi said. “That was because a lot of people weren’t there. Even then we still finished well in third place.” Among the team’s top athletes, Obi has seen his fair share of success this season. At the Burges meet on March 4, Obi broke the Irvin, Franklin and Burges long jump record. “I’ve medaled in each event. In triple jump, I have gotten first, and in long jump I have gotten first or second,” Obi said. “For triple jump, I broke the 45 ft. 8’ record with 48 ft. 4.” Despite having a relatively young team, junior Gilberto Castaño believes that this has not affected the team’s performance on the track. “We have an extremely young team since we lost four seniors last year,” Castaño said. “Everyone seems to be pushing themselves hard this year, in contention for a state title.” Sophomore Brian Barraza acknowledges that it is important to remain successful for the team to keep its tradition going. “The fact that we’ve won three consecutive district championships motivates me,” Barraza said. “I feel that I have a legacy to uphold.” The team will compete in two more meets before the District 1-5A championships from April 7-9 at Bel Air. “The team is going to do their best and try to take it,” Obi said. “We’re already winning most of the meets right now; everyone is going to step up their game and we’re going to get first.”

run like the



Junior Tiffany Fulkerson and sophomore Krizia Acosta come in to their last lap for the varsity 800 meter run at the Franklin Girls’ invitational. • Sophomore 3200 meter runner AnaLucia Speer paces herself for a brutal finish at the Franklin Girls’ invitational. • Freshman varsity jumper Elise Machen launches herself into the sand pit for her long jump event at the Chapin invitational. • Junior Rachael Rio broke her PR (personal record) at her varsity pole vault event at the Chapin invitational. photos by Vanessa Thai and Michelle Arreola

Girls take first at Austin meet W

Senior runner and high jumper Eric Darnell leaps over the obstacle during practice. The team’s next meet will be at Coronado on April 1. photo by Octavio Lopez

| IMANI HAKIM | reporter ith 17 events scored, the girls’ varsity track team took first out of six schools at the Austin Invitational on March 4, racking up a total of 196 points. Junior Elizabeth Oyetunde, who took second in the 300-meter hurdle, was very pleased with the overall results. “Individually, I did well, but I could’ve done a little bit better. As a team we did amazing. We won.” Oyetunde completed the 300-m hurdle with a time of 51.53 seconds, collecting 8 points for the team. For sophomore Maddie Westman, the meet was more exciting on a personal level. Though she was happy with the team’s placing, Westman couldn’t help but be thrilled about her individual performance. “This meet was my best so far. I PR’d (personal record) a lot and I’m really hoping to PR again at the next one.”

At the meet, some changes were made to the relay team and these brought about a surprise. “We did well as team, considering the fact we completely switched out people for the 4x400 relay event,” senior Abigail Wilkerson said. “I was the only person who runs that event and everybody else was new. I ran first leg to try and put us at a lead, and it was interesting to see the outcome.” Wilkerson, along with Evelyn Valenzuela, Krizia Acosta, and Esther Oyetunde, took second. The team earned second place with a time of 4:14.33 and received 16 points in the event. Wilkerson also competed in the 400 meter with a time of 1:09.15 and placed second. This weekend, the girls’ varsity track team will compete April 1 at El Dorado. The district meet will be held at Bel Air April 7-9.



Players to watch Senior pitcher Ricky Jacquez broke his own record of strikeouts in a game against Americas retiring 20 batters in 7 innings. Jacquez has committed to play baseball at UT next year and has been named a first team Louisville Slugger PreSeason All-American and a first team Rawlings Preseason AllAmerican. “To be able to play at the University of Texas out of high school is a tremendous honor and not a lot of kids get to do that. He’s a good kid and continuing to do better on the field,” coach Andy Powers said.

Warming up on the mound, junior Eric Vasquez comes in to the game against Oñate in the 4th inning. He is surrounded by teammates Ricky Jacquez, Cameron Haskins, Gabe Alvarez, Jake Mena and Coach Powers. The Cougars defeated the Knights 7-4. photo by Octavio Lopez

Varsity builds momentum, 4-0 in district

| STEPHANIE ASSI| reporter

As the sixth ranked team in Texas, the Cougar baseball team is the top ranked team in El Paso, compiling a 18-2 overall record, and an undefeated 4-0 record in district. The Cougars are returning 11 players from last year’s varsity team, including seniors Ricky Jacquez and Ray Delgado who have already signed to play at the Univeristy of Texas and EPCC. In his first season as head coach, Andy Powers has already seen success. The team feels that Powers has helped bring them together. “Team chemistry has been a lot better,” developmental coach Mat Castor said. “There is more drive to succeed, drive for the players to actually want to do what is right, and want to go in the right direction. They are shooting for better goals for themselves and for the team.” Before district play, the Cougars played in three tournaments. They took second place in both the Midland and Grapevine tournaments and won the Hyundai Franklin tournament. “[The tournaments] really set us up for the teams we can beat, the type of baseball we know how to play. It really set a standard for us.” Delgado said. “We know what we can do and how we need to play for the rest of the season.” The team has built a lot of momentum since the tournaments and believe they will be successful throughout the season. It has shown since the district opener at Americas where the Cougars overcame a 3 run deficit, beating the Trailblazers 11-3. “Going into the season, I didn’t think we were going to be a very good team,” Jacquez said. “We just keep proving people wrong. We need to win one game at a time, and beating Americas, we needed that. It definitely was a big win.” Most recently, the Cougars are coming off

wins against Americas, Hanks, Socorro and Bel Air. “Everyone wants to win district, but there are bigger things past that. We want to go as far as we can in playoffs, so we are going to do the best we can,” junior Tyler Crupper said. “We are not going to fear anybody.” Last season, the Cougars finished second in district, and reached the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. Although they didn’t make it past the first round, the team expects to change that. “I want to get past the first round. Hopefully, we’ll do well and take it one game at a time,” junior Jake Mena said. “There have been a lot of changes, with a new coach and a lot of the seniors left. We still have each other, and the underclassmen are bonding. If we can do well as a team and play together, we’ll do better this year.” As the team continues to be successful, Jacquez’s confidence in the team has grown. “Seeing how we played in Dallas at the Grapevine Tournament, I expect to win district and make a deep run in playoffs,” Jacquez said. “I have never played on a team with so much heart.”

Upcoming games April 2 (Sat) Coronado home April 5 (Tues) Americas home April 8 (Fri) Hanks away April 9 (Sat) Socorro home April 12 (Tues) Bel Air away April 15 (Fri) Montwood home 4 pm—Tuesday, Friday 10 am—Saturday

Senior first basemen Cameron Haskins starts this season off with a .393 batting average. Haskins had the first home run of the season against Oñate, and had two hits and two RBIs in the district opener at Americas. Collegiate baseball named him as one of the top high Haskins school players in the state of Texas. “He’s a good hitter, he can hit for average and for power, and he’s continuing to get better defensively to make himself and all around better player,” Powers said.

Senior short stop Ray Delgado leads the team in hitting with a batting average of .587, and also has scored the most runs this season. Against Socorro, Delgado was 4 for 4, scored 3 runs and stole two bases. “He has been able to use his ability and tools to be productive. Delgado Right now his offensive production has been off the charts. He’s gotta be one of the best hitters in texas right now,” Powers said.

Junior catcher José Favela, with a .380 batting average, played a major role in the win against Socorro. Favela had a pair of home runs and drove in five runs to lead the top ranked Cougars past Socorro, 11-7. “Favela is a really special guy, he has a skill set, body size and Favela some abilities that few guys in this country have,” Powers said.

Sophomore pitcher Tavo Rodriguez has already accumalated 43 strikeouts this year and has maintained an ERA of 3.33. Rodriguez’s best game was against Odessa Permian when he had 11 strikeouts and no walks, defeating them 7-0. Rodriguez was invited to atRodriguez tend the Perfect Game National Showcase for 16 & under. “If he continues to grow and mature, with the abilities that he has, I truly believe he has the opportunity to be a first round draft pick after his senior year, which is just incredible,” Powers said. Junior second basemen Jake Mena starts off this season with a .404 batting average. In the district opener Mena went 2-4 at the plate with a home run, a single, and 2 RBIs. “Jake is one of our lightning rods. He’s a gamer, he just goes up and plays his heart out. He’s usually successMena ful with what he does and he’s one of the leaders on the team,” Powers said.



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