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‘Moroccan’ in the free world World Affairs Club represents Freedom at Model U.N. mock conference Jon Bittner

Emalee Sekely/FHS Press

Freedom’s World Affairs Club recently participated in the Model United Nations (U.N.) held at the University of Pittsburgh on Nov. 8. According to club sponsor Ms. Katie Gigl, this is Freedom’s first time participating in this event. The Model U.N. is an annual event where schools from surrounding districts gather and hold a fake U.N. hearing. Each school is given a different country to represent in this hearing, and Freedom students represented the country of Morocco. “To my knowledge, I don’t think [Freedom has] ever participated in a Model U.N. recently. The purpose of the World Affairs Club is to talk about global issues and be more globallyminded citizens, so I felt like Model U.N. would give the kids a chance to embrace that,” Gigl said. In the actual U.N., these countries have different councils and organizations they represent. Freedom spoke for six different councils as Morocco. Some of which include: the United Nations Advance Security Council, the United Nations Security Council, GA-1 Disarmament and International Security, the United Nations Environmental Program, the World Health Organization as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The club split up into groups of two and each group was given a different organization to represent. After students were assigned a group and council to represent, they then had to present different resolutions for their specific issues, much like what a real U.N. committee would do.

Senior Luke Hutchison, Junior Ryan Kaufman and Sophomore Louis Dubovi strategize during in the Model U.N. on Nov. 8. Junior Ryan Kaufman was in the Cyber Security Council, and he said it was “very enlightening.” “[The experience was] a little frustrating because we went as a small country,” Kaufman said. “Our opinions didn’t matter as much as ‘The Big Five.’” The Big Five countries are the five powers in the U.N. These include China,

France, Russia, the United Kingdom and The United States of America. Since Freedom was not one of these five powers, they did not have as much say in the decisions the U.N. made. “I just wanted the kids to feel like they were somewhat prepared, but overall I just wanted them to have a good time,” Gigl said.

New faces in old places

FHS welcomes two long-term substitutes for the 2013-2014 school year Carly Park

At the beginning of the second nine weeks, Mrs. Brandi Burger and Mrs. Heather Giammaria left to go on maternity leave. Burger will be gone for the remainder of the school year, and Giammaria is expected to return some time in March. Many students were concerned about what would happen during their absences. Fortunately, Freedom was able to hire two new substitutes for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year. Mr. David Turner, one of the new substitutes for the year, will be teaching

Giammaria’s classes. He has experience teaching every grade level and typically teaches social studies or English. Though he has never substituted at Freedom before, he has worked at both Pine Richland and Fox Chapel. “It’s pretty exciting to work with students in such creative ways since I’m teaching Creative Writing and Performing Arts, so I get to work with people in a really unique setting,” Turner said. He hopes, since the students are old enough to pick these electives, that he will have a successful school year. Burger’s replacement is Mrs. Meghan Boland. Like Turner, this is her first job at Freedom.

“I haven’t had any teaching or substituting jobs, but I was a student teacher at Fort Cherry School District,” Boland said. “I taught 9th grade Biology and 12th grade Advanced Placement Biology.” Boland is excited to be teaching at such a reputable school district with a hardworking group of students that seem willing to learn. “The other teachers and students have been really welcoming,” Boland said. “So far I give it two thumbs up!” The students of Freedom are glad to welcome Turner and Boland into the school district.

By the numbers...


cast selected for the spring musical (see page 2)


brothers call it quits (see page 9)


students play hockey for Blackhawk (see page 11)


words in this issue’s crossword puzzle (see page 5)


new National Honor Society members (see page 3)


problems Americans choose to ignore (see page 6)

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FHS Press

November 25, 2013

Positively outstanding students

Eight students awarded Student of the Month for their positive attitudes Hope Ruckert Photo courtesy of Ellen Hill

Every month Mr. Frank Hernandez, Mr. Timothy Dadich and Mrs. Ellen Hill hold a contest for Student of the Month and the Honoring Outstanding Professional Educators (H.O.P.E.) awards. Each month there is a different theme that the staff and students can categorize their choice as to who fits that classification. For the month of November, the theme for the Student of the Month was “Having a positive attitude.” The students that won this award were as follows: Freshmen Noah Trombetto and Vanessa LaValle, Sophomores Louis Dubovi and Kyleigh Zedak, Juniors Luke Kiefer and Raylen Welling and Seniors David Lipinski and Jennifer Wallis. “It was a really good honor to know that the teachers would pick me and that they think that I’m a positive person, because I try my best to be positive. And I’m glad that other people can see that, and they know that if they need someone to be positive that I’m there,” Welling said.

Student of the Month award winners display their certificates in front of the “Dare to be Extraordinary” board.

Wargo-ing the distance, twice Wargo recognized for outside the box thinking Hope Ruckert

Photo courtesy of Ellen Hill

The theme of this month’s Honoring Outstanding Professional Educators (H.O.P.E.) award was “Thinking outside the box.” All of the students were encouraged to take the time to write a short reason as to why they were voting for the teacher that they thought deserved this month’s “Thinking outside of the box” H.O.P.E. award. The teacher who won the November H.O.P.E award was Mr. Brian Wargo. This was Wargo’s second time winning the H.O.P.E award; Wargo along with Mr. Ed Majors were the recipients of the first H.O.P.E. award last school year. “I appreciate that I am being recognized for enacting my goal of helping students to have the potential to think, speak and act scientific,” Wargo said. “This may seem as if I am thinking outside the box; in reality, it is simply showcasing why schools will remain essential, why instructors are indispensable and how teaching must occur in the future.”

Lions and tigers and cast lists, oh my!

Cast announced for FHS spring musical Ally Wolf

Skipping their way down the yellow brick road, the student body of Freedom High School was led to the band room for for the high school’s annual musical performance. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was selected as the musical, and students began preparing for auditions by looking over dialogue, songs and more, marking Nov. 9 and 10 on their calendars. After the weekend of auditions, the cast list was decided and published on Nov. 11 on the band room door. The list came out much faster than previous years and was advertised very quickly. Dance auditions were later held on Nov. 23 to pick out the dance ensemble for the musical, including flying monkeys and other dancers. Junior Ashley Malinak thinks the Wizard of Oz is a good musical choice for this year. “We need to make up for last year,” she said, as Fiddler on the

Roof did not make as much profit as expected. She believes this musical will be more successful as it is more well-known. As far as the auditions went, this year they were surprisingly more calm and exciting than they were nerve-wracking, according to Junior Ryan Edder.

‘Wizard of Oz’ was the first [show] I did, and it’s going to be the last one. - Mr. Kovalic

“I was very calm. Not nervous. Very excited...I did what I had to do,” Edder said. Malinak agrees that the atmosphere of auditions was a lot calmer. The Wizard of Oz was picked for a very special reason, as this year Mr. Keith Kovalic plans to “cap both ends” of the musical spectrum by finishing his musical career with this one.

“Wizard of Oz was the first [show] I did, and it’s going to be the last one,” Kovalic said. According to Kovalic, when they first did this musical, it was terrible, and he plans to do it justice this year and end on a positive note, as it is time for him to move on to do other things. Kovalic believes the musical will do well with the community as there is a lot to do with the fantasy aspects as well as the technology and the aesthetics of the show. Junior Maura Lehocky will star as Dorothy, alongside Edder as the Scarecrow, Junior Nathan James as the Tinman and Junior Robbie Raso as the Cowardly Lion. Senior Hunter Bonzo takes the role as Glinda the Good Witch next to Malinak as the Wicked Witch. The cast list can be seen outside of the band room for anyone interested in viewing it.

November 25, 2013


FHS Press

High notes for heroes

FHS Marching Band offers ‘Tribute to America’ on Veterans’ day Emily Hawk

Grace Hutchison/FHS Press

The Big Red Marching Band marched on the main streets of Beaver in honor of our veterans. Leading the parade was the Beaver JROTC, followed by all the veterans that have served from World War ll to Vietnam. On Nov. 11, the parade included Volunteer Fire Departments (VFD), such as Conway, Rochester and Monaca, marching alongside the bands. In addition, the American Legion groups of Beaver County, New Brighton, Baden, Unionville and Ambridge participated. Other groups that marched in the parade were the Beaver Falls and Rochester Elks. All of the bands in Beaver County had the honor of taking place in marching during this parade. In the middle of the parade, some of the

bands stopped marching and played the National Anthem as bystanders stood at attention, put their hands over their hearts and waved their American flags. The crowd continued to sing along to a few of the songs that the bands played throughout the parade. Some of the songs played were: “God Bless America,” “Caissons Go Rolling Along,” “Air Force Song” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Several students from the Ambridge Jr. ROTC posed on the back of a truck re-enacting the flag raising at Iwo Jima. The US Marine Corps War Memorial, established in 1943 and located in Washington, D.C., shows five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman raising the flag. “It felt good to honor those who have fought for our country,” Junior Amanda Fischer said.

The Big Red Marching Band marches down 3rd St. in Beaver to honor Veterans on Nov. 11.

Nick Schreiner/FHS Press

NHS members stand at the conclusion of their induction ceremony on Nov. 7. (Front row: Senior inductees. Back row: Junior inductees.)

Inductees light the way

16 new members accepted into Freedom’s National Honor Society Grace Hutchishon

Sixteen new members were inducted into National Honor Society (NHS) earlier this month. NHS is a group of elite students who maintain not only excellent academic standings, but participate in numerous service projects throughout the school year. NHS is an organization that has been around since 1921, recognizing students for their outstanding qualities. At the induction ceremony, the

new members were recognized for the four pillars that make up a NHS member: scholarship, leadership, service and character. At this ceremony there were many speakers, including Dr. Jeffrey Fuller, Mr. Timothy Dadich as well as keynote speaker Mr. Nate Langelli. “I think that National Honor Society students represent the people who really care about school and their grades. They are leaders in and out of the classroom,” new inductee Junior Jamie Croll said. To be a member of NHS, a student

must not only thoroughly represent each of the four pillars, but also gain at least 10 hours of volunteer work and help tutor their peers during either a study hall or AAP. Being a member of NHS takes dedication and willingness to work outside of school and volunteer in numerous ways. Members uphold not only good moral character, but also outstanding academics as well. Members must maintain a 93% average consistently, placing them on the high honor roll, therefore fulfilling the pillar of scholarship. The officers of NHS, all seniors, are

as follows: President Gigi DeWeese, Vice President Jennifer Wallis, Secretary Ally Wolf and Treasurer Kris Skogsholm. These officers were elected last year by the upperclassmen, selecting who they thought would best serve each position. “The National Honor Society recognizes the potential in others to become the leaders of tomorrow,” Dadich said.


FHS Press

November 25, 2013


More than ‘just Freedom’ “I go to Freedom,” some students say with disgust. Yes, you do go to Freedom. The lack of excitement about Freedom isn’t very complex in most cases; because students complain about Freedom, others complain about Freedom, and it creates a vicious cycle. In general, it is easier to point out the bad about any person, place or thing (we call these nouns). If every FHS student cared about our school and recognized all of the great attributes, Freedom would be a much better place. No school is perfect. There are going to be flaws found in any school district. One great aspect about Freedom is our willingness to change. When something is wrong, our administration gives its best effort to correct the problem. In addition, we are surrounded by teachers that do their best every single day to prepare us for continuing our education. Several years ago, the block scheduling that we all know and love was put into effect at FHS. In order to do so, teachers had to be willing to change the set-up of their classrooms to teach more effectively over a longer period of time. The entire staff had to revamp their curricula so that the students would get more out of their time here at Freedom. The major complaint about Freedom is not the faculty, but the students. It is those same students who are doing the complaining about other students and how Freedom is such a terrible place. There are some schools that have metal detectors lining the doors every day because of high crime rates. Other districts focus only on standardized tests, preventing students from learning in a holistic manner. As a whole, Freedom could be much, much worse. We are a small school, but we make the most of what we have, and when compared with other schools, we excell. Freedom ranks 85 out of 676 schools in Pennsylvania when observing the following qualities: attendance, state testing scores, graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment rates. Though the administration is proud of this accomplishment, they will not stop trying to improve our school until Freedom is number one. In addition, the current senior class improved its average SAT score by 107 points when compared with previous years. Not only do we now have one of the higher averages in our area, but this shows there is improvement being made to “just Freedom.” As far as Freedom’s preparation for entering the real world, many graduates agree that Freedom prepared them for college. “Freedom helped me understand what my motivations are so I can find a foothold when facing great challeng-

es,” 2013 graduate Noah Marks said. Marks, who is currently attending the University of Pittsburgh, gives a lot of the credit to the teachers at FHS. “Teachers and the environment encouraged introspection…[which] is vital to everyone. It helps you find something you’re passionate about and understand why you’re passionate about it.” Like Marks, 2013 graduate Richelle Fuller gives a lot of the credit to her teachers. “Some of the teachers also taught me more than they thought— not just class-related, but outside of class as well,” Fuller said. It is important to realize that if life at Freedom isn’t exactly as you want it, you have to be willing to take on part of the responsibility. No one can force you to have a positive attitude about the school or can guarantee that you will become a millionaire simply because you went to Freedom. Students have just as much of a responsibility as the staff does. “If you pushed yourself [at] Freedom, then you are prepared for college,” 2013 graduate Emilee Handyside said. A major concern of many students is the current lack of Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered at Freedom. Though the numbers of these classes are expected to increase, Handyside feels the AP classes she was able to take helped to prepare her greatly for college. “My roommate took a ton of AP courses in high school, but all of her tests were curved. When I got a ‘B’ on an [AP Calculus] test then I had a ‘B’. All of her tests would be curved to an ‘A’...I had to learn how to study, which is way more important than it seems,” Handyside said. Though life is not always going to be easy sailing, Freedom does just as good of a job as any other school in terms of offering students the education they need to succeed. “You get out of high school what you put into it,” 2012 graduate Emily Croll said. “Freedom did try to prepare us for college, but there really is no way that they could ever possibly prepare us for everything.” Next time you hear “Freedom is such a terrible school,” ask that person what is so terrible about Freedom. Is it the wide variety of courses that they offer? Possibly, people view Freedom in a negative light because of how well they prepare students for post-secondary education. If that isn’t it, maybe students don’t appreciate all of the time and effort teachers and administration put into our success. As a whole, the student body needs to focus less on the negative and embrace all of the positive aspects about Freedom.

FHS Press — Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief: Gigi DeWeese Managing Editor: Jennifer Wallis Copy Editor: Emalee Sekely News Editor: Courtney Schreiner Asst. News Editor: Hope Ruckert Features Editor: Jon Bittner Asst. Features Editor: Brianna Frashure

Business Manager: Louis Dubovi Asst. Business Managers: Dereck Majors and Jacob Landis Newspaper Adviser: Mr. Aaron Fitzpatrick

Sports Editor: Desiree Davis Asst. Sports Editor: Nick Schreiner

Photo and Design Editor: Emily Hawk

Art Director: Ally Wolf

Social Media Director: Courtney Schreiner

Contributing Artists: Louis Dubovi, Ally Wolf and Brianna Frashure Staff Writers: Marley Hoko, Michelle Keith and Grace Hutchison

Section Flags: Ally Wolf Web Editor: Kelsey Velemirovich

Editorial Policies: FHS Press is the official student newspaper serving students and staff at Freedom Area High School, in Freedom, Pennsylvania. The views presented herein are not representative of the school, faculty, or administration; they are solely the views of individual student writers. The staff editorial is written based on the majority opinion of the student editorial board. The newspaper accepts and strives to publish signed letters to the editor under 250 words, which can be sent to To submit comments, questions, or press releases, or to purchase advertising in the paper, email, or contact Mr. Fitzpatrick in Room 226.


FHS Press

November 25, 2013

Emptying banks instead of giving thanks Has Thanksgiving lost its meaning?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s sometimes easy to forget the true Michelle Keith meaning of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, strictly an American holiday, is one day out of the year for family and friends to come together and share what they are thankful for. The day after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as Black Friday, has turned into a bit of a holiday in America as well. Shoppers flood the stores trying to find the best deals and get an early start on their Christ-

mas shopping. In previous years, stores have been opening earlier and earlier to attract more customers. Some stores even open late on Thanksgiving night. This year, many stores are opening around 6 p.m., and most shoppers line up hours before the stores open, meaning they won’t even have Thanksgiving dinner with their families. This “holiday” isn’t even really Black Friday anymore, seeing that it is now taking place on Thursday. I personally think this is ridiculous. The purpose of Thanksgiving is

to spend time with family, while giving thanks for all that you have. Sitting around the table, eating turkey and mashed potatoes, sharing stories and laughing as the sun goes down is how I spend my Thanksgiving every year. Thanksgiving wasn’t meant for families to rush through dinner to wait out in the cold for a store to open. Don’t get me wrong, I like Black Friday and the wonderful deals it has to offer. However, by shopping on Thanksgiving night, this means that employees have to run the stores and work on their holiday while they could

Thanksgiving Crossword

be at home with their families. The last thing most employees want is to deal with rude, pushy or annoying customers on such a great holiday. If you do choose to go shopping this Thanksgiving, be considerate to those employees who have to give up time with their families. Remember to be thankful for the little things and enjoy your time with family and friends this holiday season.


1. The group of people that came to America and celebrated the first Thanksgiving 2. A delicious dessert that comes in many varieties such as pumpkin, apple and pecan 4. The famous Indian that helped the Pilgrims 5. The boat that the Pilgrims rode across the Atlantic Ocean upon 6. Popular American Sport played on Thanksgiving 8. Famous New York City Parade 11. A main course for Thanksgiving that is so good, you GOBBLE it up

ACROSS: 3. The native people of North America who helped the Pilgrims learn about the land 7. The season in which Thanksgiving is celebrated 9. Food consumed on Thanksgiving, typically found in the mashed variety 10. Famous rock where the Pilgrims landed 12. The day after Thanksgiving where every human being in America goes shopping


FHS Press

November 25, 2013

Standardized tests standardize knowledge

Wake up. Go to school. Attend club meetings or sports practices. Maybe go to a job. Do all of your homework for the day, and study for tests. Make sure you have dinner, and you’ll have a few minutes to spare before it is bedtime, if you’re lucky. Sounds familiar, right? Courtney Schreiner This is a typical day of a high school student. Each person will have variations, but it is no shock that this is the time we really need to get our acts together. These years are key to our learning and development, where hopefully everyone is trying their best to improve upon their academics, extra-curricular activities and eventually the rest of their future. It is clear that high school students are put under a lot of stress, so it only makes sense to add more to their workload, right? Not likely. Standardized testing is defined as any examination that’s administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner. Think back on your school career. We have all been taking some kind of standardized test since elementary school. IOWA Exams, PSSAs, Keystones, PSATs and SATs are some of the tests we go through. We are pushed to take these seriously; while some

aren’t needed to graduate, we are still required to take them. That means that teachers are forced to alter their lessons to accommodate to a “standardized” test. Why learn more than what’s needed, anyways? As a student, I would much rather learn and gain knowledge from someone who is qualified in a certain area than what I am “supposed” to know according to a predetermined plan. Another issue with standardized tests is the time it prevents us from having class. This school year has already been interrupted in order to take a diagnostic exam in order to have an idea of how students will do on their Keystones. Lessons were brought to a halt so those students could take this test. For many, this is not their first round of testing in that subject. A major flaw that I see is that students are taking these subjects year after year and still not passing. Maybe it is because they have not taken that class in a year or two? It is very probable that material has been forgotten; we’re only human. Or possibly it could be that they face anxiety while test taking? There is no correct answer. Students aren’t the only ones affected by these tests. Teachers get evaluated on how well their students do overall on the exams. If you fail, your teacher has done terribly at his or her job. This statement could not be more misleading. Teachers are supposed to teach and encourage

you to learn and obtain knowledge in that class, and just because kids don’t do well on a Keystone or other test does not mean that they aren’t doing their job. Think about how frustrating this must be: your level of excellence in teaching is being based off of a test that you did not even create. It would be best to evaluate teachers while in their field, not on something they can hardly control. In the end, standardized testing should not be used to determine how intelligent a student is. Intelligence cannot be measured by a multiple choice exam. Having to take a five hour long test just so colleges can see how well I could do at their school is absolutely absurd. Scores are just numbers, and these useless numbers can ultimately affect the rest of our lives. Not to mention how it feels getting those scores; for some people, they are pleased with them. For others, it was just a wasted day. While we are provided with resources and materials to study and prepare for these tests, too much pressure is placed on the students to have to prove something. Yes, we have to take these tests and will have to for years to come, but let it be known that there are great flaws in the system. No one can possibly know just how smart and able I am for college based on a number, so why are they of such importance? The world may never know.

Tuning out by tuning in Media distracts Americans from reality

Many history courses offered at Freedom discuss the different types of government styles over thousands of years. We often analyze and criticize these earlier practices and decide what works the best and what does not. When the word “dictator” is brought up in normal Gigi DeWeese conversation, heads turn. The reason behind this is because, in the past, many dictators used force and “brainwashing” to get whatever they wanted, often withholding information from their citizens. America is a constitutional republic and a representative democracy, meaning that the people select the representatives that make the choices for our country. The system we have established, compared to other parts of the world, is seemingly efficient. Not only are we considered one of the world powers, but crime rates, poverty and disease are relatively small when compared to other countries. However, this is still not a completely perfect system. Many have heard rumors of China censoring what their citizens can view on the internet. Imagine if our government did this to us. Many would be outraged. What holds our government back from doing this, though? The answer is that they don’t need to. As a whole, most Americans are already extremely uninformed about what is going on in the U.S., as well as in other parts of the world, because life here at home is going well. Corruption could be happening under most people’s noses, and they wouldn’t even notice. There are endless videos that can be found on the internet that expose how little Americans know about the government. One of the more popular videos asks if you prefer the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. Jimmy Kimmel walked around the streets asking random passersby which they

preferred. The responses were astonishing. Which do you prefer? If you have an answer to this question, then you are one of these people that needs to become more informed about what is actually going on, considering that ObamaCare is a nickname for the Affordable Care Act. If Americans aren’t able to distinguish the difference between fact and opinion, our government doesn’t even need to try to keep information from us. The majority of information we receive is from social media outlets. Though this information is entertaining, most of it is biased. Many news channels lean toward one end of the political spectrum or the other. There should never be just two sides of an issue; there should be endless sides. Nobody is right all of the time, so why should political parties be any different? There are going to be people that belong to a political party who have different opinions than everyone else in that same

party. Instead of associating with a party, everyone should take every topic, issue by issue, establish their own viewpoints (independent of what the news tells you to believe) and select the candidate that happens to have similar solutions as you. In a few hundred years, whether or not America is still a world power, we will look back and criticize our current system. I am afraid that one of our biggest complaints will be that the general public was extremely uninformed and turned a blind eye to what was actually going on, not only in our country, but all over the world. Flaws are going to be found with how our government works, but in order to improve it, let’s at least become more informed about what is actually going on in regards to our government.


FHS Press

November 25, 2013

Life skills vs. school work

Louis and Gigi battle over the curriculum conundrum students (myself included) get so caught up in getting good grades that they forget about trying to get an education. Although Freedom offers an accounting class, busy students who are trying to build up an impressive transcript for college don’t have room on their schedule to worry about a class like that. When you go to college and you don’t have Mommy to cook for you, what happens when you get hungry? Most students just throw a chunk of Ramen Noodles on the stove. While it is both easy and cheap, Ramen is not always the healthiest choice of food. Freedom used to offer a Home Economics class up until this year (due to lack of interest, it has been removed). If you think about it, cooking is something you’re probably going to use every single day for the rest of your life. You could say that it’s the parents’ job, n o t the school’s, to teach teens how to cook. That is great and all, but in the modern day, a lot of kids live with a single parent who is just too busy to teach them to cook. So, what is the problem? Is it that society is pushing students to learn things like chemistry rather than cooking? Is it students lacking an interest in these areas? Maybe students are pushed so hard to do their best and focus on a future that still may be undecided that they don’t focus on more basic skills.

There comes a point in your education where your parents are not able to help you with your homework anymore. Gigi DeWeese Though some subject matter is exactly the same as when your parents were younger (addition and subtraction), the way that students go about learning today is significantly different due to the widespread use of technology. Both of my parents continued their education beyond high school, yet I can’t ask for them to help me with my calculus homework. They did well when they took this class in school, but the majority of this knowledge has left them, for they do not use it on a daily basis. However, my parents can teach me how to cook, clean and balance my checkbook, for these life skills are used regularly. Not everything can be taught to us in school. It isn’t the job of the teachers to show us how to make our beds in the morning. Though some might enjoy taking a cooking class, others who already have obtained these skills might view it as a waste of time. Cooking is something that can be self-taught by using the Internet and other resources. Then, there is the argument of, “Someone can teach me how to write an essay on the Internet.” Though this is true, how many of you would actually sit down and learn how to write essays? If this wasn’t something taught at an earlier age, I would be one of those people guilty of never learning how to write. Everyone is not going to teach themselves how

W h o can find the velocity of a rolling cart, write a five paragraph essay on any pointless topic and describe DNA replicaLouis Dubovi tion step-bystep? This guy. Who doesn’t know how to balance a checkbook, cook a real dinner or pay taxes? This guy. Don’t get me wrong, school is great. Though more often than not, students find themselves thinking, “When am I really going to use this?” That’s a problem. While our school does an excellent job in providing an assortment of classes that you can choose to best fit our needs, most high school students are still unsure of what they “need.” The majority of students don’t know what career they plan on pursuing. Even after graduation, some people are still unsure. How should you know if you need to take Calculus if you don’t know what career you want? Calculus is great if you plan on being an engineer but is almost useless if you want to be an elementary school gym teacher. Basic skills, like knowing how to balance a checkbook or pay taxes, are relevant regardless of your career. These are things that, unlike calculus, everyone needs to know. There are a lot of things you learn in school that you’ll probably never need to know. For example, history is an excellent topic, but will an engineer really need to know the year Julius Caesar died? Unless they happen to find themselves on a game show, then they most likely won’t. High school does its best to give students a general education and to help prepare them for whatever career they choose to pursue. Some

to write an essay, which is crucial if they are planning on continuing their education. The new technology has helped to speed up the rate at which we are able to learn. I have learned so much outside of school by using the Internet as a tool. Because the school provides everyone with a laptop, there is no excuse as to why students should not be able to look up the steps necessary to fill out W-4’s. Eventually, everyone will be forced to figure out these “life skills” if they really are necessary to survival. I understand that many parents are busy and do not have time to sit down with their children and teach them all of these life skills, but we are not the only generation that has had to face this problem. Going back to prehistoric times, cave people figured out how to cook because their survival depended on it. However, they had no clue what atoms were. We are improving as a society in terms of our knowledge. Teaching students about new discoveries being made and discussing different viewpoints about the world is more beneficial (if the goal is to become a more knowledgeable society) than taking a class that teaches everyone how to pay taxes. I am not opposed to these classes being offered at Freedom, and I think it is great if students take them. If there is room in your schedule, and you have the opportunity to take it, that is wonderful. If the whole world didn’t know how to cook, there would be serious problems. However, it is not the responsibility of the school to offer these classes, especially considering all of the budget cuts that have recently been put into effect. If everyone only knew how to cook, pay taxes and balance a checkbook, we would not be living the same lives that we live today. I strongly believe that if students must make a choice between taking a core class as opposed to a cooking class, the core class should have priority.

One ailment a doctor’s excuse wont cover

H e y seniors (or underclassmen), do you have any of these symptoms?: Extreme laziness, t r o u b l e getting out Kelsey Velemirovich of bed in the morning, lackadaisical attitude towards schoolwork, desire to spend as much time as possible with friends or indifference towards your future? If so, then you may have come down with the dreaded senioritis. It’s typical around this time of year. It’s November, you’ve filled out college applications, did some school work and now you’re just over it. Most of you have committed to a college, trade

school or other future plans. If you’ve already been accepted, then what’s the point of still being in high school for another seven months? Seriously though, don’t use senioritis as an excuse to let your grades slip. That’s an excuse even lamer than “my dog ate my homework.” Your acceptance probably isn’t set in stone, especially if your grades plummet to the point where you might not graduate. Don’t risk your diploma, or college acceptance, by never doing your math homework. This epidemic isn’t only taking out seniors, it’s affecting underclassmen as well. Scary thought, right? They’re not even seniors! They still have a year or more of school left, and the laziness could be sweeping some of them too. Your best defense when it comes to senioritis is to find ways to stay

motivated throughout the year. Set small, attainable goals for yourself: Finish most or all of your huge history project before you go out with friends, or do a few math problems before you text your boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe even reward yourself! You studied for your chemistry test, you deserve a nice cup of hot chocolate. It’s the little things that can make a huge difference when it comes to laziness. While school can be stressful, you’re only making it harder on yourself by procrastinating or choosing to ignore minor assignments all together. But really seniors, it’s your last year of high school. Don’t waste it; make some memories, make good grades and make it count.

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Let’s ‘Bri’ honest

FHS Press

Brianna offers verbal tissues for readers’ issues

Dear Bri, My family is always yelling at me and making me feel like I don’t know anything. How do I deal with this?

Brianna Frashure You need to sit down and talk with your family. Most likely, your family is just stressed and taking it out on you. If it was me, I would sit them down and explain how I am feeling. You do have to understand where they are coming from. Sometimes, you should put yourself into the shoes of the family member who is putting you down. Why are they angry about this? What if they had a bad day? You should definitely sit down and talk to the family member that makes you feel like this the most. It would be a start to helping the issues that could be happening. Explaining how you feel to someone will help you out a lot.

Dear Bri, Why do guys randomly stop talking to you?

At this age, I don’t think a lot of guys know what they want. Their opinions of anything can change in an instant, so don’t be surprised if what they think of you changes too. Anything can make them stop talking to you; texting them too much, texting them too slow, acting too into them and acting like you don’t care at all. It’s all a balancing act to work your way into your guy’s heart. A lot of high school boys just don’t have a way of showing how they feel or how they care, so it’s hard for guys to open up at times. If you feel as if they just stopped talking to you, try to talk to them about it. Don’t tell them your life story, but tell them your feelings on the situation. Explain to them how it bothers you that they came into your life and just walked out.

Dezz sezz: Think first

For the rest of your life, you could be grieving about your best friend rather than sharing your wedding with her. The future comes from what you do now, and if you don’t remember your last sober weekend, help is needed. Driving drunk is a terrible idea, but sober reckless driving is just as bad. After I get out of my spot in the student parking lot, half of the time I have to slam on my brakes because a car backs out in front of me. First of all, it doesn’t take 15 mph speeds to go in reverse. Some students allow passengers in the car to influence them to do unsafe things. I make my passengers buckle their seat belts upon entering my car. It’s safe and harmless; everyone should give it a try. What about being reckless in general? Some teenagers will do anything their friends tell them. Friends still triple dog dare each other to do stupid things, like licking bird droppings or jumping off a building. There is no reason that you need to lick bird poop; who are you trying to impress? If those friends really love you, they will accept you if you decide to take a chicken on this round. Being randomly reckless in times like these can affect your future employer’s decisions because it would surely end up on social networking. More can affect our futures than we all think. Therefore, you have to think before you take action. It is just like thinking before you speak because hurting others is a possibility. In the long run, it is you that will be hurt. Consider how to improve your maturity; the worst that could happen is your “friends” don’t like you anymore. But then again, the best thing would be to have a life worth living.

Dear Bri, I am good friends with a guy in my grade. We text everyday and all of our conversations are funny and we just get along great. In person though, he is so awkward around me. He barely says anything and always seems nervous. We are such good friends as long as we are texting. Should I continue on like nothing is wrong or tell him how I feel? In my opinion, I think this guy is hiding behind technology. I think maybe that this guy has feelings for you and doesn’t want to show them. If he is being really nice and cheerful over text messaging and awkward and shy in person, then there is something going on in his head. I think sometimes guys think figuring out a woman is hard, but when us girls try to figure out men, we are just as confused. This guy seems to have feelings for you or is just socially awkward. I think you should talk to this guy about how he is all weird in person but cheerful over the phone.

Dear Bri, What do I say to people when they call me vulgar names? This is a great question because I see this happen a lot in school. If someone calls you vulgar names, there is a thin line between joking and being serious. If they are joking, you could simply say that it is bothering you and that they should stop. If they are a real friend, they will apologize and not do it anymore. If it continues or becomes more serious, talk to someone. Great people in our school to talk to are teachers and guidance counselors. They can give you wonderful advice and intervene if necessary. If you don’t want to tell an adult, ignore the person who is bothering you. Not only does it diffuse the situation, but no one picks on a person who doesn’t react. Unless it is truly bothering you, I would do my best to avoid and ignore their rude comments.

Fueled by fear Schools everywhere are stuck in the Paleolithic Era after past history of high school attacks. Sandy High, Colombine and more Ally Wolf have pushed schools into enforcing the “zero-tolerance policy.” The zero-tolerance policy is exactly what it says. On school property, weapons are not allowed to be present to the extent that it is a state and a federal crime. Any student caught with a weapon is taken for punishment and seen as a threat to the student body. Honesty is a trait and virtue long forgotten in this policy, and even students who realize they brought a weapon on accident are suspended and even expelled for being brave enough to take responsibility for their mistake. In September, David Schaffner III of Fox Chapel turned in a weapon he had brought to a football game on accident, forgetting it was still in his bag from his hunting trip. He was removed from the game later on and faced a 10-day suspension for this. This is only one of many cases of weapons brought to schools accidentally, and it happens in all educational levels, from college to even elementary schools, such as the case of a third grader in Huntersville, N.C. The zero-tolerance policy is flawed in a way that it doesn’t allow for leniency at all. It doesn’t reward students for their truth or the

Reckless driving, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, d r i v i n g under the influence and partying every weekend fall Desiree Davis under two categories: immaturity and carelessness. Every student at Freedom is under the age of 21, the legal drinking age. Most freshmen students are 14 or 15 years old, and if age 18 is too young to start drinking at parties, then every age in between is way too young. People are more worried about what other people think of them now than they are about their futures. I don’t know if people realize it, but what we do now will affect our futures. Think about it: one night you’re at a party with a few friends. On the way to the destination, you’re so excited to get drunk that you almost run a stop sign, which could have resulted in a wreck. You arrive at the party safely and pick up a cup that has already been filled; there’s no way to know if someone spiked it. “Oh well,” you think. The next thing you know, you wake up in a hospital bed lucky enough to be alive. No one, besides your best friend in the car, knows what happened. She died on the drunken ride home. How does that party affect your future? You killed your best friend and scared everyone who loves you. The idea of what makes people like each other these days is terrible. In some people’s minds, drinking and doing drugs is “cool.” It isn’t, though.

November 25, 2013

sibility they take for their actions. Fighting for Schaffner’s case, attorney Phil DiLucente helped to prevent the expulsion of this student, and wants to fight the severity of the tolerance policy in an effort to make it fair; an act that should have been taken long ago and will be tough to fight after the more recent shootings and attacks. Faculty and school board members argue that the policy should remain enforced, saying that it “protects students from danger.” Survivors of school shootings also agree that this should be followed to prevent further tragedies from occurring. However, none of these groups of people consider what the zero-tolerance policy actually causes in its reign of terror over schools and colleges everywhere. Seemingly driven by fear, the punishments that this policy enforces actually cause students to be dishonest. Why would any intelligent student who brought a weapon to school on accident turn it in if they knew how severely they would be reprimanded? This causes the alumni to instead hide the weapon until the school lets out and they are able to return it home in fear of expulsion or suspension. The policy affects students in such a negative way, with there being no way to fairly win against the system that is set up simply to destroy them, and permanently leaves a mark on their record about how shameful it was that they acted honestly. While the rest of the world is able to look at life in grayscale and see how right and wrong can blend together, schools refuse to see anything except for extreme right and wrong. They don’t know how to handle a gray area.

FHS Press

November 25, 2013


They couldn’t ‘Hold On’ ‘Just a Little Bit Longer’ World mourns the split of the Jonas Brothers

T e a r s were shed. Hearts were broken. On Oct. 29, emotions were quickly turned from joy to depression as news broke that Dereck Majors the Jonas Brothers had officially broken up. After the band’s Twitter account had been deleted, it was virtually known throughout the interweb that the three siblings had some serious issues that needed to be dealt with. The band that started a sensation, with songs like “Burnin’ up” and “Year 3000,” is now done. Yes, that band that sang songs with Demi Lovato in “Camp Rock?” Gone. The three brothers who had their own television series called “Jonas L.A.?” Broken up. The band that was once every pre-teen girl’s heartthrob has suddenly become separated. Did they even bother sending out an “S.O.S.” for help? Apparently not. After the band cancelled their reunion tour that should have started in fall of 2013, news sources tried to speculate on exactly why the

three had chosen to break up on such a short and unexpected notice. Each member’s Twitter accounts were inactive following the assumed split of the band. Then, on that dreadful Tuesday a little before noon, official word spread that the band was done. On that day, the band also released the statement that their reunion album, “V,” which would be their first since 2009, was cancelled as well. But how could a group that’s been together so long (keep in mind they were brothers first) suddenly call it quits out of the blue? Some speculation, at first, was that Joe Jonas had a drug addiction, which he quickly debunked. The main reason was simply due to creative differences amongst the members. Everyone has their own opinions and styles and apparently being in a boy band with your brothers won’t change your opinion. Due to these differences, the brothers are separate from one another in a way no one ever thought possible. And because of this sudden split, they affected thousands of fans when they needed the band most. However, they should have kept in mind the thousands of lives they were affecting before they decided to call it quits.


Wrestle, wrestle, twist ‘em like pretzels Jennifer Wallis

With the cold winter months rolling in, the wrestling mats are rolling out. The wrestling season is now underway marked by their first scrimmage against Moon, which took place on Nov. 24. The team will be competing in 18 matches and tournaments this season. Seven of these matches are considered part of the regular season while the remaining are tournaments. These tournaments consist of multiple schools competing all day for a winner in each weight class. The athletes will be on home mats four times this year. The regular season will stretch through to March; official home matches will be held on Dec. 11, 20, 30, and Jan. 15. Four team members departed last year as seniors. The graduates were Boe Bonzo, Tyler Cousins, Nicholas


Jennifer Wallis/FHS Press

Jackman and Kurt Kitzman. The current seniors are not concerned about these losses, though. “I think we will have a really good season this year because we have a lot of really good freshmen coming up,” Senior Lane Ward said. New additions to the team include: Senior Scott Jacobs, as well as Freshmen Austin Alberts, Kody Komara, Joseph Pail, Randy Simmons, Evan Sweesy, Noah Trombetto, and Dean Ward. Starting in late October, the team began conditioning practices twice a week. Not long after the start, Dean Ward was infected with MRSA. This caused a brief hiatus in their practicing, because it could have spread to the mats, but the practices resumed at the start of November after sanitization. “We missed a few practices but we came back and are doing good,” Dean Ward said. “Gladly, no one got it from

The wrestling team warms up in groups of two by working on technical moves with one another. me. I think it also helped us be aware that these kind of things happen and we need to have proper hygiene and cleansing of mats.” After learning a lot from pre-season

including each other’s names, new techniques and consequences of poor sanitation, the season is set to commence.

No rest for the weary

Indoor track members start preparing for the outdoor season Desiree Davis

Who can students see running around in the snow or stretching on the track in hoodies and sweats? The indoor track team. Most of these athletes warm up and work out in the frigid air. The jumpers and throwers can usually be found in the school learning and working on new techniques, while runners are found jogging the streets around the school. “It can be difficult to run when it gets really cold and snows. If the roads are bad, we have to go run on the treadmills,” Junior Kayleigh Roberts

said. “I don’t like the treadmills because the air inside is really bad to run with, and it is boring.” In general, running on the treadmills is not enjoyed by many long distance runners. Meets are held at Edinboro University on Saturdays starting in January. In some cases, these meets can last all day long. “This can make it a very long and tiring day for indoor track members,” Coach Ed Shephard said. Freedom competes against all divisions from many different school districts, making the meets more competitive than during the spring.

That doesn’t stop some members, like Junior Tina Davis, from setting the bar high. “I hope to...get to the championship, get new [personal records] and hopefully place. I want to stay in shape for outdoor track so I can get better and beat the school record,” Davis said. She is a hurdler, with her personal best being 16.3 seconds for the 100 meter hurdles, and the school record is 16.14. Though the team is small, they are serious. Most members of the team are working to perfect their skills for the upcoming outdoor season. “Indoor makes winter training

less boring, and it gets us ready for outdoor track. I plan on just running with no pressure to have fun,” Junior Danny Conrad said. Senior Jared Hogue is planning on toughing out the season by only doing the sprinting workouts, and he won’t be officially be joining the team. Like Conrad, Hogue plans to use this winter as a conditioning for spring. Indoor track serves different purposes for all of the athletes that participate. Whether it is taken seriously or meant to be fun, the members of this team are busy preparing themselves for the outdoor season.

we need to work on,” Senior Matt Feits said. When the season started on Nov. 18, the practices jumped to six days a week, excluding game days. The team shares the gym with the girls’ basketball team, so on a yearly basis they have to come to an agreement on practice time. The team has some new players this year, and according to Feits, “the majority of the team are underclassmen.” He also believes that they are “more than capable of having a successful team.” Like Feits, Cercone has high hopes for this season. “My one goal for

this team and season is to make the playoffs,” Cercone said. When it comes to the seniors, Cercone’s advice is to “play as hard as [they] can.” All of the boys have personal goals to accomplish this season, and Senior Andrew Teny is one of them. His goal is to improve this season. “I plan on doing harder workouts once I’m tired of doing the [regular] workout. I tell myself to do more and end [practice] on a good note,” Teny said. Overall, the team wants to improve by “pushing each other to our best abilities possible,” Teny said.


Swishing for playoffs Desiree Davis & Emily Hawk

Although the boys’ basketball team just started its season, the athletes worked hard during preseason workouts to improve their skills. During the off-season, the boys are allowed to come to the high school gym and practice with their coaches and other teammates. The boys have been conditioning since the beginning of October. According to Coach Greg Cercone, the team met twice a week in October and three times a week in November.

The reason behind the early conditioning is “trying to teach them the skills and techniques and working with the players on offensive and defensive,” Cercone said. The boys are due to have a scrimmage on Nov. 30 against Western Beaver. They start out their season with a tipoff tournament at the very beginning of December against South Side. This tournament gives the boys a chance to play teams out of their section. “I think that we will be able to compete just fine with the other teams; it will really show us how we can improve as a team and what areas

November 25, 2013


FHS Press


Lady bulldogs set to tipoff new season Desiree Davis

Since the majority of girls on the basketball team showed up to open gyms during the off season, Senior Kayla Angeline feels that this basketball season will be successful. “The strongest part of this season is going to be working hard together to achieve what we want, which is playoffs,” Angeline said. The open gyms were held three days a week beginning in early October. According to Angeline, attending these practices is crucial to get the girls in shape for the season. These athletes undergo more conditioning and training than students realize. During the summer, they often compete in tournaments. Although the tournaments are not mandatory, they generate enough interest for the team to at least be able to use substitutes. “[We have] the freshmen coming up and a couple [upperclassmen] new to the team. We’re getting a lot more in the gym in the off-season than in past years,” Angeline said.

Jennifer Wallis/FHS Press

Official season practices began on Nov. 18. The difference between the official practices and open gyms is the content. Season practices teach the girls plays and how to handle game-like situations while open gyms are more geared toward endurance and conditioning. The first game took place on Nov. 23 in the high school gym against Union. It was a scrimmage, so it isn’t a part of the regular season. Sophomore Courtney Boehmer feels that the team is improving as individuals, which will help them move forward into achieving their goal of playoffs. The next game will take place on Nov. 30 against Ellwood City, which is another scrimmage. The official season begins on Dec. 6 and 7, and it is a weekend event tipoff against New Brighton. This event annually marks the beginning of the season for the girls. According to Senior Salena Ritorto, this tip-off is not any different from a regular season game, but run more like a tournament. Here, the girls get to to play against teams that aren’t in their section. There are usually winners and the points don’t

The girls dribble down the gym floor during practice at an open gym workout. matter for the rest of the season. Last season, the girls lost their previous coach and had to get used to working with a brand new one. Some players, like Ritorto, have enjoyed the change. “I think [Coach] John [Kaercher] has been doing good as a coach. He has brought us together as a team. Whenever we’re down in a game or

struggling with something during practice, he never gives up on us. He has high expectations for the team to succeed and he believes in us no matter what,” Ritorto said. Kaercher has high hopes for the season. “We want to play every game like it’s the last game of the season,” Kaercher said.


FHS students are icing up the season Marley Hoko

Even though Freedom Area School District doesn’t currently have a hockey team of its own, Seniors Kristian Skogsholm and Nate Lundy, and Sophomores Stuart Skogsholm, Alex Lundy, Kenny Rose and Austin Kamicker have all found a way around this and are able to play the sport they love. They are all a part of Blackhawk High School’s varsity and junior varsity hockey teams. The season may have just begun, but the six Freedom members have

already started their winning season. The first game of Blackhawk’s season was played against Our Lady of Sacred Heart and ended with a winning score of 7-0 for Blackhawk. The Blackhawk team had a 13-2 win against Central Valley on Nov. 4, during which Nate Lundy had 3 goals and 2 assists. Kristian Skogsholm had 3 assists against the opposing team, which put another win on their current record. Winning these regular season games isn’t the only thing the athletes are working on accomplishing at this point in the season. The boys have their eyes set on winning the Open

Division Cup, which is the playoffs for the division that their team has been placed in. “It would mean a lot to us because of all the work we have put into the season so far. It would just show that everything that we’ve done as a team has paid off,” Stuart Skogsholm said. With only one game and one hour practices per week, both the players and coaches must prepare for everything that the upcoming games will hold. Practices typically include going over the different power plays, breakouts and everything that comes in between. With such a short time

of practice each week, this group of hockey players needs to get as much accomplished as they possibly can. In the end, Freedom doesn’t need its own varsity and junior varsity hockey teams to satisfy students that are interested in this physical sport. “It’s kind of annoying that Freedom doesn’t have a hockey team, but it’s great that Blackhawk has given us the opportunity to be able to play,” Stuart Skogsholm said. Blackhawk High School has opened its doors, and the hockey team has accepted the Freedom players as its own.

over, the athletes departed from the trampolines and food with a formal goodbye. Like the golfers, cross country runners don’t hold a formal get together. Instead, they take a group trip to a fun-filled destination. Last season, the team drove all the way to Splash Lagoon on a two day trip. They were provided with food and a place to sleep. Unlike other sports, these athletes don’t receive special awards. This season, the team decided to go to Sandcastle, and this trip will have to wait until the summer of 2014. The boys’ and girls’ soccer teams have a combined banquet. This event was held at the Franzee’sJavy’s restaurant in Economy. The teams arrived looking their best and ready to eat a full dinner. When the athletes were done conversing with

friends and consuming their dinner, the coaches gave short speeches reminiscing about the season. Some complimentary words were said, and it was then the seniors’ turn to speak. Once the speeches were finished, the coaches took the room once again to reward the athletes for their hard work. Pictures were taken, hugs were given and the teams went home full of food and memories. The volleyball banquet was held at Harmony Ridge, a small country club-like setting. Similar to others, the girls began with eating a hearty dinner. They ate foods like salad, chicken, a type of pasta and cheesecake. The coaches gave heart-wrenching speeches. The seniors were upset because it was their last high school volleyball season, but they enjoyed the event. “[The best part was] seeing the

team members coming together one last time and getting along because it was a rough season,” Senior Mackenzie Keller said. Coaches Kathy Ames and Kristen Schneider bestowed awards to the girls and soon after, the event was over. The football banquet is annually held in February at Franzee’sJavy’s. Although the event will still be in February, the destination is unknown. The cheerleaders are also a part of this banquet. The coaches typically give out awards and speak about the previous season. Coaches mostly are the only ones to speak, but others are welcome to do so. The team eats dinner and converses with one another, and then the awards are given out.

Cheers and tears: Banquets mark the end of fall sports Desiree Davis

Banquets are a time of reminiscing, laughing, eating and occasional tears. The majority of sports teams have a dinner at a banquet hall and get a chance to dress up. The golfers took a trip to SkyZone, a place full of trampolines. They jumped around for a generous two hours. “In the last fifteen minutes of jumping around, the seniors decided to play the underclassmen [in a game of dodgeball] with the help of the coaches. In the end, the seniors and coaches were victorious,” Senior Aaron McSorley said. After such physical activity, the team sat down in the building for a pizza party and Coach Aaron Fitzpatrick handed out awards. When the festivities were


FHS Press

November 25, 2013

Athlete Biographies

Casum Matlick

Mackenzie Keller

Lane Ward

Sydney Kaercher

Favorite memory of your sport: “My freshman year when we won our last home meet and we pushed our coach into the pool.”

Favorite memory of your sport: “Playing five games against Lincoln Park and winning.”

Favorite memory of your sport: “When I was younger and the whole team would go out to Cici’s together and eat pizza.”

Favorite memory of your sport: “Our season opener when we came out and scored 74 points beating Avonworth, 74-72, our long time section AA rival.”

Hobbies other than sports: “Hanging out with my friends and my girlfriend.”

Hobbies other than “Hanging out with friends.”


Hobbies other than sports: “Reading and running.”

Hobbies other than sports: “Texting and checking Twitter and Instagram.”

Favorite season: “Winter because it’s swim season and swimming is my favorite sport and my favorite thing to do.”

Favorite season: “Fall [because] it’s volleyball season and it’s hoodie weather and it’s not too cold.”

Favorite season: “Definitely fall because I like the cold but not too cold weather and all the beautiful leaves falling to the ground.”

Favorite season: “Summer because there is no school [and] I can lay in the sun and go to the beach.”

Future goals: “To become an electrician and hopefully have my own business one day.”

Future goals: “Going to college for exercise science.”

Future goals: “To go to Pitt and major in Biological sciences and History and Philosophy of Science so I can go to medical school one day.”

Future goals: “To attend college and become a dental hygentis.”


It’s not too cool to be in the pool FHS swim team seeks commitment, improvements Emalee Sekely

Jon Bittner/FHS Press

Outside, the weather is growing frigid and there’s a newfound chill in the air. People are gearing up for the holiday season. The sky is growing darker earlier each day, and we’re lucky if we don’t look out the window and see a blanket of white. For most, this means that it’s time to break out the heavy coats and bundle up as much as humanly possible. However, for some at Freedom, this can only mean one thing: it’s time to swim! ‘Tis the season for goggles and the wonderful smell of chlorine; swimming is in full swing. This year, the team prepares for their season by practicing at Sunrise Pool in New Brighton. Generally, practice lasts for about two and a half hours after school MondayThursday. Not having a pool at Freedom to practice in creates a challenge for the swimmers. Many of them, especially underclassmen who can’t drive yet, struggle to get rides to and from practices because the school only provides a bus for meets. “Underclassmen do have to talk to the upperclassmen to get rides to the pool; it can be a struggle at times, but it’s not too bad,” Senior Sam Schweinsberg said. This has been an issue over the past few years, and the problems still continue with maintaining a

bigger team when there is a lack of a swimming pool. There are very few swimmers making it to practice on a consistent basis. This is frustrating for both Head Coach Bill Layton and the swimmers, and if participation at practices continues to decrease, a decision could be made concerning the future of the program. Regardless of the difficulties with transportation and participation, the team tries to make the best of a difficult situation. “I [was] looking forward to the bus rides because that’s where we bond the most as a team,” Junior Meghan Bohach said. “However, I [was] looking forward to MACs even more than the bus rides because it was one of the best experiences.” Due to unforeseen medical issues, Bohach will not be able to swim this season. Layton said that he is preparing his young athletes not only for meets, but for a lifelong journey. “We’re all in this together as a team, and I am here to give the guidance these young athletes need,” Coach Layton said. “Every day that I’m with my swimmers, I can relive many of my own past experiences with them...and show them what I, as an athlete, went through.” The team’s first meet is Dec. 9 against Cornell and Beaver Falls.

The swim team takes a breather during practice while Coach Bill Layton looks on.

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November 2013  
November 2013