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The Phoenix May 13, 2014

Fremont High School, Vol. 2 Issue No. 7

Speech contest: breaking boundaries by Alex Bernauer Managing Editor

Giving a speech is hard enough—let alone giving a speech in a recently aqired secondary language. The entire English Learners Development (ELD) Department at Fremont High School (80 students) participates in two speech contests. The Fremont speech contest took place on May 5th. It serves as a practice contest

for the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) contest on May 15th. Both of these contests display the hard work and progress that all of the ELD students have put in to improve their English speaking abilities throughout the entire year.

The FUHSD speech contest was created by ELD program administrator, Welton Kwong seven years ago. The purpose of the contest is to push all the ELD students from the entire district to do something outside their comfort zone and, to gain greater experience and understanding of the English language. “The higher stakes involved with the speech contest force the students

to have to really practice,” Akane Tanaban, ELD two teacher, said. According to multiple sources, initially there was not a Fremont speech contest only the larger

FUHSD contest. However, since the first year of the FUHSD contest was voluntary, only a few ELD Fremont students participated in comparison to other schools in this district. Thus, the Fremont speech contest was created the following year as a precursor and a method of preparation for the actual contest.

See ELD on page 2

Ashley Chavez| The Phoenix

IRENE Liang gives her speech in the small auditorium at the Fremont High School speech contest on Monday,May 5th.

May marks brain cancer awareness month by Hauraa Aalabdulrasul

Arts & Entertainment Editor

With the start of May comes the start of Brain Cancer Awareness month. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, about 4,300 children younger than age 20 will be diagnosed with brain tumors. Of those diagnosed, 3,050 will be under age 15. Brain cancer has no known cause, but doctors have found many risk factors to getting brain cancer like radiation to the head. Brain cancer starts when a tumor is formed in the brain. Tumors appear when cells form abnormally because they don’t divide correctly. They don’t die like they are supposed to, but instead, just gather up and form a mass in the brain. As this process goes on, the tumor continues to grow as more and more cells are added to the mass.

Eventually, the tumor spreads all over the brain and the body is affected. Things that happen to a person with brain cancer include weakness in the body, difficulty walking, seizures and headaches. Other common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, memory and speech issues or even personality changes. There are many different types of brain cancers, but all share one similarity: taking away people’s lives and hurting families. Many organizations and research groups have planned fundraising and awareness events this month to spread the word about brain cancer and raise money for research. The Miles for Hope Foundation, a research center located in Florida provides funds for brain cancer research and clinical trials. During the month of May,

they held an event in Boston that raised money for brain cancer research. The 5K run/walk event bought many closer together as the walked for a cure. Another event closer to the community, was the Breakthrough for Brain Tumors Walk in Los Angles held by the American Brain Tumor Association. Just like the event in Boston, this event was a 5k run/walk event that raised money for brain cancer research. “I love hearing about the different walks and fundraisers for different kinds of cancers, especially brain cancer,” Anchal Takiar, senior said. “It’s such a horrible thing to happen to someone and these events make me believe that there is hope to finding a cure.” Both events didn’t just raise money but they helped to spread awareness around the community. It brought

many people together and pushed people to work towards a common goal. However, it seems that Fremont high isn’t doing much for brain cancer awareness month. Just like black history month, Fremont is lacking in awareness or any involvement at all. Usually the month of May is filled with talk about senior prom, graduation and end of the year activities. Students spend a lot of time and money on these events, but a majority of them aren’t aware that May is brain cancer awareness month. “Why is it that students chose to spend $65-70 on senior prom tickets and endless hours preparing for the “big night” but not many are willing to create an event dedicated to raising money for cancer,” Kenia Duenas, senior said. “I think students

deserve to have a good time and enjoy themselves because they have worked so hard. But all of these events overshadow the importance of this month and that isn’t okay.” The only cancer month students seem to be familiar with is breast cancer awareness month. A Majority of students display their support with pink ribbons attached to backpacks and wearing the famous “ I <3

boobies” bracelet. “I know that if everyone actually tried putting in effort to raise awareness and money for brain cancer like they do for breast cancer, we could make a difference,” Sara Ibanga, senior said. There are still many

days left in May, and a lot of time to show your support. Wear anything gray (the color for brain cancer awareness), create a fundraising event or anything else you can do to help.



MAY 13, 2014

Embracing their fears to improve their speaking ability continued from: page 1 Due to the fact that the Fremont contest is used as preparation for the district wide contest, the rules and regulations are very similar. In both contests there are different requirements for the three different ELD levels. The rules are the same throughout the levels. Each speech must be between three to five minutes and each speaker must provide a prop. At the ELD one level, the students must deliver a speech informing the audience on the topic of their choice. This is the most challenging level out of the three, because it is for students who typically just moved to America and struggle greatly with English. In both speech contests for the ELD two and ELD three levels the students get to choose between doing a persuasive or informative speech. The intermediate level of ELD two is for students who are conversational and have some history with English, however still lack the vocabulary needed to master the language. While ELD three is for students who are comfortable with English, and additional practice will only help the students more. Since the speech is part of a five to six week unit in the ELD classes, the students have a lot of time

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

FRESHMAN Agustina Mogetta gives her speech at the Fremont High School speech contest on May 5th in the small auditorium.

to prepare and find a topic they are interested. ELD three student, junior, Sean Rodriquez is giving an informative speech on immediate body responses. This topic is very specific, yet there is a ton of information regarding immediate body responses and each responses symbolism. “It has always been something that I wanted to know and by doing my speech on it, I can share my findings [with] others as well,” Rodriquez said. Other topics of the

informational speeches include: modern technology, international education, and the history of tribes. Some of the persuasive speeches have topics such as animal fur farms that need to be stopped, why marijuana should be legal and lastly why feminism is important. All of these students spend countless hours to make these speeches impressive. “Once your speech is memorized, everything becomes easier,” Kenny

Teronio, junior ELD two student, said. For both contests there are usually three judges, typically one student and two staff, that judge each speech. There are five things that the judges are looking for: originality, ability to stay on topic, language, content, organization and delivery. Each category is scored out of five points and the final score is a total of 25 points. While the judging is very similar, the sites at which the contests are held are different.

The Fremont contest was held in the small auditorium in front of an audience while the FUHSD contest is held in classrooms in more intimate settings. In his third year giving a speech Teronio feels more comfortable now due to his experience. “It is a lot easier now,” Teronio said. “I don’t get too nervous in front of crowds anymore, however, the Fremont contest makes me more nervous than the district contest.” After giving the speech-

es, both the students and the teachers are relieved. “It feels amazing once you’re finished,” Rodriquez said. “It’s a proud moment,” Tanaban said. A lot of effort goes into these speeches, including additional practice time at TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday), an ELD based meeting group lead by Julie Darwish. “Last year out of the eight students who placed as finalists from Fremont, five of them went to TGIF,” Darwish said. This program is just another resource for the students to gain a sense of comfort with American culture and the English language. “Hopefully we can help them more next year and they can get more practice,” Johanna Mayoli, school financial technician and former ELD instructional assistant said. Due to the amount of work put in by so many people, these two events are some of the most successful and relevant events on campus. Mainly just by participating in the events, the students know that they are improving their English speaking capabilities. “When I was in the class I saw the excitement the kids have when making their speech, and after they give their speech they change a lot,” Mayoli said.

Fremont goes underneath the microscope by Jasmine Salik Opinion Editor

Fremont High School is now undergoing the beginning processes of creating the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) self-evaluation report. Many students on campus do not know about WASC, however the long process directly affects FHS in numerous, positive ways. WASC gives schools the chance to look at what needs to be improved and make sure that the problems are fixed. “The WASC is a selfstudy of our school. We study what we’re doing right and what we would like to improve on,” history teacher Brian Irvine said. “The WASC program also helps us find out the things we’re not doing very well, which allows us to build an action plan for the next six years based on how to be a better school.” Every six years, teachers, parents and students meet together and write an evaluation of the school, including accomplishments and future goals. Then, a team of administrators from across California assesses the school based on what is written in the report.

Melissa Parlan | The Phoenix

ENGLISH Department at a meeting, discussing senior literature class results and ways to improve their classes to prepare for the WASC report.

“There will be a visiting team coming next year during March,” Irvine said. “Their job is to verify that the report we wrote is true and the good things we say about our school are true.” The WASC’s main goal is to assess schools and make sure they are meeting or exceeding state standards and objectives. In other words, this means that when a student graduates, their diploma becomes more valuable to colleges. “The WASC is for accreditation purposes

and state universities and colleges look at the reports to make sure our school is a good school in which students come from,” Irvine said. People attending FHS feel as if the school has a built in negative reputation, which cannot be changed, however, this is untrue. When the WASC team arrives next year at FHS, it is a chance for adults to spread positive opinions and commentary about the school to the community. “The WASC is a chance

for us to make our school even better,” Irvine said. “It’s good to study yourself once in a while to bring out the things you’re doing right and to look at the things that are not working and to find out why and to try something different.” The participation in the writing of the evaluations is greatly encouraged and needed. Aside from teachers, both students and parents are encouraged to take part in the WASC. “It is vital for students attending FHS to under-

stand the significance of WASC and its direct impact on the school, however, not many students are as active as hoped. “We’re looking for more students to represent the diversity of FHS better,” junior Jenny Han said. “It’s a whole different experience, meeting and discussing with your teachers about the school. Students are allowed to participate in the conversations and talk about the same things teachers do, and we also help the administrators by giving our opinions when

going through the objectives to help improve our school.” There is still an opportunity to join the WASC team at FHS. If interested, contact Mr. Irvine or Mr. Emmert. “Many schools can remain stagnant and just keep thinking that since most of the students are okay, we should just keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Irvine said. “However, the WASC really gives us an opportunity to study what we need to improve on.”


May 13, 2014

New standarized test for juniors by Melissa Parlan News Editor

During the week of April 21 to 25, Fremont juniors and sophomores took the traditional Standardize Testing and Reporting (START) test, but juniors also had to take the new Smarter Balance test, which were taken on computer desktops. The junior class this year was given a series of multiple standardized tests: the usual STAR test, the Early Assessment Program (EAP) and the Smarter Balanced test. Sophomores this year were given the Science California Standardized Test (CST) during the last day of the testing week. According to the California Department of Education, these tests were given in accordance with to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress assessment system passed in Oct. 2013. Starting next year, the conventional STAR testing will no longer be given and will be replaced with the new Smarter Balanced Test. This test is taken through a computer, asking students to show their work and thinking process in the math section. The language arts section asks students to read and listen to different texts and answer open ended questions through short responses and an essay. The most significant change to the testing week this year was the fact that most tests were taken on computers. Despite the change to a more technological approach to standardized testing, it didn’t receive a positive review amongst students. “I didn’t like the layout of the computer test,” Kassandra Sanchez, junior, said. “It was really confusing and there were many opportunity to input your answers incorrectly.” However, there were some positive aspects to the

computer test. “I only liked the literature section on the computer,” Sanchez said. “I liked how I got to type and show what I knew.” This could be a problem for many students. Despite a more digital age, not everyone is as technologically advanced than others. “I would understand if the test was difficult for those who didn’t really know how to use a computer, or type efficiently,” Maybelle Alcantara, junior, said Although students took the Smarter Balanced test, they won’t be given their results. Due to the fact that this is a newly designed test, this was the first time it was actually given to students. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fair for students to have a score held accountable to them from a standardized test that is just a prototype. “Because this is a new test, there are a lot of things that have to be worked on,” Ben Gonzales, assistant principal and co-lead organizer of the testing week, said. “The test given out was a test of the test.” Changes were made to standardized testing, not only to stay up to date with curricular standards, but also to better enhance the way students in the United States are tested. Because standards vary from state to state, it’s difficult to compare students’ result from different states. “The reason for this test is to find the cut point for students who are doing well, OK or poorly,” Gonzalez said. “Where do you draw those lines? This test will eventually define that.” All in all, this year’s test will give data to refine the actual Smarter Balance test that will be given to students next year. Therefore, all the tests given to different states will be the same in terms of difficulty. While taking the STAR

Business Manager

Rumors about next year’s possible schedule change have left students and staff in a whirlwind. “Squishy Frog,” the code name for next year’s possible new schedule, would build a 40-minute “flex” period into the school day on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Friday morning advisory would still exist. The question on everyone’s mind is: Why the change? “We’ve sent people to different professional development conferences over the years,” Principal Bryan Emmert said. “One of the things that seems to work in education is extended time on tasks. We need to find

ways to adjust the time and support. “When we talk about this embedded time, here is an opportunity for teachers to pre-teach material and reteach material,” Emmert said. “It could be a time for students who are struggling, students who are in a general education class or a student who’s taking 3 AP classes.” With the possible changes to next school year’s schedule, Fremont’s faculty hopes to provide extra help and learning time to all students. In debating over the new schedule, teachers and students alike have come to the conclusion that adding a mandatory form of office hours during the day is only to benefit students who are

The Phoenix 1279 Sunnyvale Saratoga Rd. Room 76 Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (408)522-2400 Managing Editor Alex Bernauer News Editors Melissa Parlan Ashley Chavez Sports Editors Chau Nguyen Marcus Saranglao Arts & Entertainment Editors Hauraa Aalabdulrasul Neha Mannikar

Kristina Lechuga | The Phoenix

test, juniors opened the test booklet to find two new small, optional test sections: the EAP math and english tests. Although these two sections had a very small amount of questions, those who did decide to take the EAP could greatly benefit from their results. The EAP test is designed to help students planning to attend State Schools, University of California schools, or some selected community colleges. Depending on a student’s score and college of choice, that student could be allowed to advance out of some classes in college, saving time and money. “That’s why juniors are encouraged to take the EAP test,” Jeff Rosado, assistant principal and co-lead organizer of the testing week, said. “Because if they are applying to UC’s, they’d have the opportunity to get out of those remedial classes.” Although the Smarter Balance test required more work by actually writing out an answer, in actuality, it tests student’s knowledge way better than multiple choice tests.

“Bubbling in types of tests are very limiting,” Rosado said. “This is why I like the computer Smarter Balance test. It’s a truer assessment of knowledge, because you get to explain your thinking.” Despite the need for extra work associated with these standardized tests, students realize how this will benefit education in the long run. Besides, it’s true what all teachers say: the most important thing is not getting the correct answer, but how they got to that answer. “I believe this will help education in the long run,” Alcantara said. “They are going to improve the test more in the future and it’ll help students. Schools are going to change how teachers teach and pay more attention on how they teach.” At the end of the day, these standardized tests don’t exist to torture students or put them on a scale of how “smart” they are. They’re specially designed to take data and better the educational system and how students’ are taught.

Schedule changes getting put to a vote by Sarah Arkoh


struggling in school. This is not true. Extending learning time has been proven to not only help students focus more on tasks given to them, but it also helps retention, or one’s ability to commit to memory things learned. Adding more time into the school day will be a benefit to all students, allowing them to focus on the subjects they need more help with. Fremont is the only school in the Fremont Union High School District that doesn’t have some type of mandatory advisory embedded into the school day. Other schools within the district use this time to help all students improve their performance both inside

and outside the classroom. Take for example Lynbrook High School. Lynbrook has a 30-minute tutorial on both Monday and Thursday. Students are able to use this time to catch up on missed work, speak with their teachers concerning grades and form study groups with their peers. Lynbrook continues to see academic growth in all their students and many teachers accredit this to the extra time allotted throughout the school day. The new schedule is not yet set in stone as teachers will be voting before the end of the academic school year. Regardless of the outcome, Fremont students will continue receiving moral and academic support from faculty members.

Opinon Editors Kayla Layaoen Jasmine Salik Lead Artist Kristina Lechuga Copy Editors Sonya Jindal Juan Martinez Business Manager Sarah Arkoh Lead Photographer Priya Lee Staff Writers Gaby Anaya Tatiana Castillo Mike Capovilla Marinn Cedillo Chanel Johnson Savanna Kiene Joanah Nguyen Alex Noyes Chris Peterson Sergio Rodriguez Nicole Stibbard Elliot Lehman Briana Castillo Adviser Ms. Stacey Stebbins

The Phoenix, protected under the California Education code, is a public forum for the students of Fremont High School. The Phoenix staff will publish features, editorials, news, and sports in an unbiased and professional manner. Editorials are the official opinion of The Phoenix. Opinions and letters are the personal viewpoints of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Phoenix. All content decisions are made by the student editors, and in no way reflect the official policy of Fremont High School, nor the opinions of the administration, faculty, or the adviser. Business advertisements are accepted in The Phoenix. However, The Phoenix reserves the right to deny any ad. Those interested in running advertisements can call the Business Manager at (408)522-2400, or email Lettters to the editor and questions for the advice column, may be submitted to room 76, Ms. Stebbins’ mailbox, or emailed to Identities of those who submit questions will remain anonymous. The staff reserves the right to edit letters to conform to styles and policy. Letters to the editor will be published at the discretion of the staff. The Phoenix is the official student newspaper, and is distributed free of cost to the students. The Phoenix publishes eight issues throughout the school year.



Bee’s importance hurt by pesticides by Marinn Cedillo Staff Writer


oo often when we think of bees, we think of a dangerous, terrifying menace

out to get us. However, this could not be further from the truth. There are many endangered species on the Earth, but bees especially need our attention. Bees are one of the top pollinators in the world. The majority of the world’s flowers and vegetation grow with the help of bees. Not only is our food at stake, but so is the agricultural economy. Bees pollinate approximately one-third of the world’s food. The almond industry is almost entirely dependent on honeybee pollination. And not to sound dramatic, but if bees were to disappear completely we can say goodbye to fruits, berries and vegetables. The “Bee Movie” wasn’t too far off. While we won’t suffer through a famine, our diets will lack flavor, diversity and nutrition. Bees play an important role in agriculture through cross-pollination. Farmers in the United States and around the world have taken to using pesticides and fertilizers that are harmful to bees. Pesticides such as imidacloprid, neonicotinoids and coumaphos are dangerous and harm the

bee population. Neonicotinoids are a group of pesticides that have been shown to lower the immune systems of bees. Imidacloprid, part of the

neonicotinoids group, is the most common insecticide used. Certain pesticides inhibit their ability to identify flowers and orient themselves, while others kill bees outright. The farmers that use these pesticides have complete disregard for the insects and invertebrates that roam the crops, regardless of the fact that the plants are dependent on them. While laws and restrictions against

the use of these pesticides have been made, bees are continually in danger. More reasons for the bee decline are land development, viruses and bad nutrition. In the last decade, there has been a drastic decrease of bees, from six million in 1947 to a measly 2.5 million now. Beekeepers have been fretting over this for a while now and we have to start listening. What the Department of Agriculture has dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder, is the mass die-offs of honeybees in America. These major incidents are either mentioned briefly or ignored completely in the media. It’s indicative of the way today’s news handle environmental issues when up against big companies. Even science-fiction shows pick up on them better. The popular British television

show “Doctor Who” had a running sub-plot surrounding the disappearance of bees for one season. Of course the reason in the show was that they were sentient beings returning to their home planet not because of their dwindling environmental position. There are many ways to lessen the declining bee population. One way is to use liquid pesticide instead of powder pesticide, which is harder for bees to pick up. Another thing to keep in mind is that bees generally pollinate plants in the morning and early afternoon. By using pesticides in the late afternoon, it dilutes the effect it has on bees rather than throwing it on them directly (which kills them almost instantly). If you tend to your own garden, cultivate plants that attract bees. The best thing one can do to save the bees, is talk to your local government and maybe write to your representatives and let them know what you think. Today’s youth have taken huge leaps forward on the environmental front. Millennials have increasingly environmentally minded ideals, funding start-ups, volunteering and much more. The future of our planet starts and ends with us.

Finding the middle ground of anger by Chau Nguyen Sports Editor


t feels good to hate. Doesn’t it? To some, hate and blame are daily vitamins they have to include in their diet. It’s nourishing, they think. Letting your emotions drift off and losing a grip on your self-discipline is easier than constantly trying to refrain from being an angry person. And this is exactly what some people do, and even enjoy: getting mad. Who needs drugs to get high, when you can hate someone? Hating someone can make you feel very powerful. Maybe even unstoppable. Even if there are things that make you angry or mad, controlling your anger is important. If something makes you mad, finding a way to deal with it is more productive than screaming. An example is the Westboro

Baptist Church and their recently deceased leader, Fred Phelps. The WBC is a church notorious for its extreme ideas about homosexuality and other religions. They also protest at military funerals and try to garner attention from the media. They have also picketed the funerals of the victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings and families who have lost people from war. Their main goal is to spread the message that God hates everyone—except them. Once Phelps died, many people wanted to protest and trash his burial because of the misery, pain and suffering he caused

worldwide. I can’t say whether trashing a person’s grave, finding revenge, or “giving them a taste of their own medicine” will remove anger and pain, but I

by rage. Again, I’m not defending Phelps. Who the hell could? He was a vile, destructive and hateful human being. However, hate never wins in the end. It’s a tumbleweed that just drifts off, all alone and

YOU RN DA SUCK U YO think finding revenge will only make one feel hollow and embarrassed. As bitter, resentful, venomous and horrible as he was, mocking him steals our opportunity to be better humans. He was dominated

ragged. I don’t fit into the category of people who get mad easily, and this might be because I haven’t gone

through a lot of big emotion filled situations. There were some, but not much. I apologize if I sound like a spiritual hippie on his high horse, but I’m being honest. Feeling mad and carrying hatred is foreign to me. I

may 13, 2014

Ask Esteban Q: I got a girl pregnant. What should I do? A: Well, you’ve done the first correct step, and that would be acceptance of what’s been done and seeking help. What has happened has happened and the best thing to do is proceed with a plan and not avoid the situation. Above everything, take the most consideration into her life and the baby’s life. Whatever decisions she decides to make, support and respect them. It may be your child as well, but keep in mind, it is her body carrying it. This may or may not be the most nerve-racking thing to do, but you and the girl have to tell both of your parents or guardians about the situation. They could even give you guys guidance on what decisions you and this girl make. Telling your parents the news won’t make them the happiest, but they need to be informed. Telling them would show you’re mature enough to take responsibility for what happened and mature enough to seek help. Going off of that, go seek the most professional help you can. Speak to your doctor about how to move forward with your decisions. Develop a good relationship with your doctor because you both should be seeing him/her regularly. It’s in the best interest of her health and the baby’s health. Proceeding with a well thought-out plan is the best and safest way to go about such a touchy situation. Take this time to really think and focus on what’s best for you two. Q: How do I cure twitter addiction? A: That sounds really hard, Kim Kardashian. Jokes aside, you should probably just avoid the internet and the app itself. To keep yourself from going back to twitter just talk to someone, you probably have a deep-rooted need for attention or to be heard. It could also be that the person could help you more than any random follower or retweet. You should also know that not all your ideas or rants are diamonds in the rough. Nobody needs to know where you’re at or what you’re doing 24/7. If your friend scrolls down their twitter feed and see more than two of your tweets next to each other, you need to put your phone down and do something else. If completely necessary, delete your twitter account. You can always make a new one or have your friend change the password so you’re not on it as often. Lastly, you destroy your phone. The portability of the app is one of the reasons that it’s so popular and useful. Destroying your phone would remove that from your life.

Q: Is it weird to dream of someone you possibly like? A: Nope! Dreams are magical ways of your inner thoughts trying to tell you, or possibly to recap on how your day went. However, the person you dreamt of doesn’t necessarily mean that you dreamt of them because you possibly like them, it could be for an entirely different reason that your subconscious is trying to tell you.

think I’ve become efficient at living this kind of lifestyle, where I don’t get mad. People should just be chill. Not to absolute zero, but to just become more tolerant of others people behavior. A quote I think applies is from Stephen M.R. Covey, “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.” Meaning, if we do something wrong, we tend to justify it with what we wanted to do. However, when we see someone else do the same wrong thing, we get riled up. For example, when you cut someone in line, you reason it with,

I’ve got things to do. But when someone else cuts in front of you, you get whiny and get mad at why they cut you. Judging other’s actions versus your intentions are unfair because your actions are louder than you words. I think you get the point. It’s easy to understand why people get mad, but it’s hard to understand why people continue to be mad. What’s the purpose in continuing to be mad? Hating other people and trying to get revenge is useless, and that time could be used for better things, like clipping your toenails.


May 13, 2014


Finding the importance of personal writing by Neha Mannikar

Arts & Entertainment Editor


sk any student about writing, and the characteristic groan will tell you how adored it is. It’s quite clear that today’s students have forgotten the importance of writing. Last year, my teacher gave us an assignment titled, “Why I Write”. It sounded simple enough, but many students soon realized that they had no idea. “To improve my communication,” most said. “Because I have to,” others said. It’s true that we do a lot of writing. From essays to logs, these types of writings are not unfamiliar to us—in fact, they often tend to incite loud complaints. I’m sure we can agree that writing is, in fact, important. However, the real question remains: why? Why is writing so important?

Today, it is difficult to see its value because writing has become less about oneself, and more about others. Long, thoughtful Facebook statuses are becoming more rare, being replaced by photos, vines and emoticons. The actual written posts are mostly geared toward getting the most “likes”. People do write more often through posts and text messages, but the reason behind the writing is not the same. It’s writing geared toward receiving a certain response rather than writing for personal satisfaction. Overall, writing has become less

personal. Now let’s turn to the type of writing many hate: essays. Hate may be a strong word, but most students have come to shudder at the mere thought of essays. The truth is, students feel restricted by the standard essay structure. It’s hard to be creative with a set line-to-line plan. However, it’s mostly the reason for writing that makes these essays so painful. We write essays because we have to rather than because we want to. And that

mentality is part of the problem. Students end up writing for an audience, trying to impress their teacher for a better score, when really, writing should be about you. It’s all about writing to explore your own thoughts, not to win appreciation for writing what you think oth-

ers want to hear. It’s easy to see why the importance

of writing is overlooked. However, it allows you to put words to thoughts, emotions and dreams. It allows

you to be creative and it allows you to be yourself. Going back to that assignment a year ago, I’ve found my answer. I write to let my voice be heard and preserved. If I were to inspire others along the way, or if others enjoyed

my piece, I would feel satisfied, but that’s not the purpose behind my writing. I write because, quite simply, I love it. I don’t write for an audience; I write for myself. So think about it, and try writing for yourself rather than for others. I challenge you all to answer this question, and if you cannot, then search for an answer. Why do you write?

Looking for love in all the wrong places - or are you? by Kristina Lechuga


Lead Artist


f you’re single and ready to mingle, you may find what you’re looking for in a place you might not expect: the internet. When the internet first started to become popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it became a vast and overwhelming database for information and communication. But it also became a tool for child predators and other criminals to prey on new, naïve internet users. Our generation has learned from an early age to stay safe online and to not send or post personal information or photos. But in the 21st century in Silicon Valley, where lives center around technology and convenience, online dating makes perfect sense for the busy millennial. People simply don’t have time to date conventionally the way their parents or grandparents did. Casual coffee shop encounters? Who has time for that anymore? Breaking the ice with a bad pick up line is a thing of the past. Talking to someone over text could be beneficial in trying to figure out who they are as a person before meeting them in real life. You could find out about their terrible grammar and spare yourself from going out on a date with them in advance. Online dating helps to give confidence to those who would have been too shy to approach the person in real life. It’s much easier to message someone a simple “hello” as opposed to chasing a complete stranger out of a restaurant and asking for their number. Even better, if they become a nuisance or a creep when talking to you, you can simply block them and move on. There are specific dating websites for the type of person you are looking for: movie buffs, wealthy people, dog lovers, farmers, hippies, Limp Bizkit enthusiasts. The list is endless and most websites are free to join. Apps such as Hot or Not and Tinder allow you to rate others in your area based on

attractiveness. Although considered superficial and shallow by some, the rating are completely anonymous and the other person only knows you thought they were attractive if they return the same rating to your pictures. But honestly, online dating can be embarrassing. When your friends ask you how you met your new beau, you might not be extremely proud to say you met them on a dating app. It’s not exactly the most romantic, and as many old-timers would agree, face-to-face interaction is something that our generation lacks. Our social skills are pathetic as it is; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen couples at restaurants with their eyes glued to their phones, instead of talking to each other. People are busy and it’s hard to find time to go out and meet new people, let alone find a significant other. Technology continues to change drastically and as we go further into a new millennium, online dating becomes more realistic and practical than ever before.

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Jessica Uy went to the University of California, Davis and later, Stanford University. Uy took nine Advanced Placement classes in high school and has won numerous awards for teaching. She double majored in American Studies and mathematics. On Monday nights, Uy and her friends watch The Bachelor. She calls it her Monday night rituals.

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Brian Irvine teaches Advanced Placement and regular United States History at Fremont. Before teaching, Irvine worked in the culinary industry in for 16 years. When asked for the reason he became a teacher, he replied, “Because I got married, had kids, and my life was over.” His proudest moment was watching his daughters grow up, go through college and start their careers.


May 13, 2014

All pictures courtesy of tea



Bo Buhisan has worked at Fremont for 14 years. Before that, he worked for 15 years for the County Office of Education and Alternative Schools, with the Children’s Shelter, Juvenile Hall and mostly gang members. Bo currently teaches karate at a studio and is a three time national champion in martial arts, has seven belts and has two grandmaster titles. Bo also plays guitar in a band called Front Burner.


Special Feature

May 13, 2014


Joe Howard’s life has been all about music. Since the young age of four years old, he became a proficient in piano playing and could pick up any tune by ear. He then learned how to play different instruments and developed a singing voice. Besides directing Fremont’s choir, Howard directs music at his local church, different school/organizational choirs, and plays professionally for parties and events. He is also an avid swimmer, swimming a collective 67 miles a week.

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JOSEPH HOWARD Shira Helft has always wanted to be a teacher, because she really loves math and she’s interested in the way people think. Before teaching, she had jobs related to education like tutoring and working the front desk of schools Helft grew up in New York and recalls her high school years as extremely different from schools on the west coast. “It was very Mean Girls-esque,” Helft said. “There were sections of different social groups in the cafeteria and everybody knew it.”





orld terature and w rn li an ci er m A Jeff Kakes is aner at Fremont. He went to ea literature teachnomics degree at UC Davis. a business/eco joyed his experience workingaAlthough he en any of his own startup comp t” for eBay and m ized he wasn’t making a “den nies, Kakes real anted to do something more in society. He wd after being greatly impacted meaningful an by his own teachers, decided f and influencedo the same. He spends most o he wanted to dting his two daughters. his time paren


Aaron Eeg has been te aching at F for 15 years remont and teaches business, y and princip earbook les of law a t Fremont. coaches the Eeg a FH free time pla S golf team and spen lso ds his ying golf. T he one thin most stude g that nts at FHS don’t know is that he h about Eeg as been a m obile DJ for He has don 15 years. e 53 jobs as of last year at wedding and DJs , bar mitzva hs and bat cotillions a mitzvahs, nd quincea ñeras.





After seven years of teaching her e at Fremont, Jay Lin is now a dean of stu dents. He is well-known as a teacher dean, but outside of school he has many other hobbie s. He enjoys hiking and karaoke and goe s snowboarding every year. He graduated from the University of San Francisco.

JAY LIN Describing himself as a “full on jock” Ruben Zamora played football and rugby throughout high school and later coached football for 22 years. Zamora didn’t receive a “formal” library degree, but he continues to find ways for the library to develop. Zamora finds that he works well with students because he loves seeing them mature and although he has to “lay down the hammer” he prefers having conversations.



Arts & Entertainment Say “hello” to Olleh sushi Artistic firebirds May 13, 2014


by Elliot Lehman Staff Writer

by Kayla Layaoen Opinion Editor

Roll on down to Olleh Sushi right now. Bad puns aside, Olleh truly does offer the best dining experience (not to mention food) a person could ask for. From the moment you walk in and are greeted by the friendly host, Peter, down to the devastating second when you’ve cleaned off your plate, they never disappoint. Variety is one of the menu’s many strong points. Ever wish for cream cheese wrapped up in that little ball of fish and rice? Great. They have that. Pineapple? Buttered lobster? How about if it’s all set on fire? (And don’t worry -- the flames fizzle out quickly on their own.) They’ve got all that, too. The Golden Gate roll, an imaginative take on the California roll with the addition of salmon and cheese among other things, is a lot like city of San Francisco itself. It’s got the very same basics as the original California roll, but it’s definitely more quirky and fun. The deep-fried Philly Tempura roll seems at first like an adventurous order, but those who dare to try it are sure to be rewarded. Who knew that Japanese and Philadelphian cuisine could merge so nicely? The soft texture of the cream cheese evens out the succulence of the salmon and works nicely

The Fremont Union High School District Art Show was a great opportunity for students throughout the FUHSD district to show off their hard work and to connect with other artists. “I am amazed at the variety of work and expressive qualities that I see in the student work, and this year was no exception,” Catherine Zweig, Fremont art teacher said. “I thought it was a fabulous show.” Hosted at the Sunnyvale Art Gallery, this art show featured art from students from Cupertino, Homestead, Lynbrook, Monta Vista and Fremont High School. Students were encouraged to submit all types of visual art for this art show. This meant that two dimensional, as well as three-dimensional pieces were featured. In the three dimensional category, sculptures made from clay, wire or a combination of substances were shown. In the two dimensional category, paintings and drawings from many artists from all of the schools in the district were on display. Kayla Layaoen | The Phoenix

with the crispiness of the deep-fried outer layer. Everything on the menu is cooked to near perfection. The rice is never too sticky or too dry. The fish, tofu and shellfish are always at the perfect tenderness. The cheese melts perfectly on top of the rolls, though it does seem a bit oily at times. Even the items that seem relatively tame, like the Baked Lobster roll, exceed expectations. Here, sushi seems less like strictly traditional Japanese cuisine and more like pizza, in the sense that just about anything can go into or on top of the rolls. It seems like there’s an infinite wealth of unique, inventive rolls between the pages of that sleek, black menu. And it’s not only their menus that are stylish—the entire inside of the restaurant is a beauty. While the building’s exterior might

not look like much, the inside of the restaurant almost makes patrons forget about the Dollar Tree and DD’s Discounts directly across the street. Everything about the place makes it clear that they’ve got a first-class meal ready for you. The streamlined red and black color scheme and prominent sushi bar make it the perfect background for Instagram posts. Don’t be shy—everyone knows that’s the real reason teens go out to eat. Everything on the menu is cooked to near perfection. The rice is never too sticky or too dry. The fish, tofu and shellfish are always at the perfect tenderness. The cheese melts perfectly on top of the rolls, though it does seem a bit oily at times. If your chopstick skills aren’t the sharpest, beware of the skinny plates that the sushi is served on—

countless rolls (and even chopsticks themselves) have met the fate of falling onto that cold, shiny floor at the hands of an inexperienced holder. Do yourself a favor and just ask for a fork. And always remember to leave just a bit of room for dessert. The green tea ice cream costs just a dollar and is worth well more than that. The staff at Olleh is very friendly. Peter is always happy to share a joke with customers as he seats them, and all of the servers are similarly friendly. On the odd occasion that a mistake is made on an order, they are quick and courteous about correcting it. The only upsetting thing about Olleh is that at some point, there won’t be any more food left on your plate. But hey, that’s what seconds (and thirds and fourths) are for, right?

Photo Courtesy of Yuri Levin

TOP: Though Levin’s roaring lion was not featured in the art show, Levin claims it is his best piece. BOTTOM: Levin’s highly detailed piece of an eye, cup and hand was put on display.

“Newborn” style of rap by Gaby Anaya Staff Writer

Cristian Barrios’ parents decided he should take piano lessons at a young age. For several years he hated the lessons, until he realized there was more to music than meets the eye. Barrios, a.k.a “Newborn,” started playing the piano at the age of eight and began writing songs at the age of thirteen, which led to him rapping. “I got into rapping because I began to notice how rappers nowadays only rap about money, sex and weed,” Barrios said “I wanted to be someone who rapped about truth through the eyes of God.”   His passion for religion led him to start rapping. Also, God has been a big influence when it comes to writing his songs. “Before I write a song, I ask God to influence the lyrics I write down, so that people can be impacted through the music,” he said. Barrios learned that he could deliver a bigger and better message through his songs and he used that to

supporters because they see it as an opportunity to preach the gospel of Christ to a variety of people,” he said. He has also done two performances at his church, as well as one performance in front of six different churches. He has also just recorded his first song, which he is really excited about.

I wanted to be someone who rapped about the truth through the eyes of God.

Gaby Anaya | The Phoenix

his advantage. His rapper name is “Newborn” because as a Christian, he believes that when he accepted Christ into his heart he became a new person. “In other words I was born again,” Barrios said. Throughout his music life, his inspirations have been his favorite Christian

rappers Andy Mineo and Lecrae because they rap about the truth. Of course his haters are his motivators as well. “I want to prove that when I put my mind to something, I can do it,” he said. Barrios’ biggest supporters are the teenagers from his church. “They are my biggest

“I recorded it at my friend’s house,” Barrios said. “Her dad is a home-studio producer. The name of the song is ‘My Testimony’. I got to record it two months ago.” Although it seems like recording his first song isn’t too much, Newborn has just taken the first step in his music career. With the determination he has and the support he is given, he truly believes anything is possible.

Photo Courtesy of Yuri Levin

Students were given awards for different categories of art, and Fremont students did exceptionally well in this area. Yuri Levin, junior, won the best of Fremont award with a three-dimensional piece. Matthew Greene, also a junior, won the best two-dimensional category with a large self-portrait. Grace Lee, another Fremont junior, won the Principal Award. These students exemplified Fremont’s artistic talents and their dedication to their art with their contributions to the FUHSD Art Show. According to Zweig, selecting the art for the show was no easy task, because of the vast variety and amount of art to be chosen from. “The art faculty from Fremont meet and review the work and as a team and decide which pieces best describe Fremont’s program that year,” Zweig said, “This is always very difficult as we want to show much more work than there is room for.” However, they were clearly successful in selecting art for the show this year, as Fremont students won a variety of awards. “All the students in the show should be proud to have represented Fremont,” Zweig said. The show gives an opportunity for students from different schools to connect through a common interest in art and show support for each other’s work. In addition to this show, there was also a Los Gatos Museum art show in which four Fremont students were selected. The students that were selected to be featured at the show this year were Matthew Greene, Yuri Levin, Sophia Kwon and Sandra Sandoval. This show was slightly more exclusive, so the students should be proud to have been selected for this opportunity and to represent Fremont further within the art community.

Arts & Entertainment Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned May 13, 2014

by Ashley Chavez News Editor

A fun and unusual take on a cheating husband and his mistresses, The Other Woman offers a refreshing spin on a group of women’s quest for revenge. Kate King (Leslie Mann), married to Mark King (Nikolaj CosterWaldau), discovers that her hunk of a husband has been cheating on her with another woman, that woman being the very foxy and independent lawyer, Carly Whitten (Cameron Diaz). After weeks of dating, Carly and Mark are head-over-heels in love with each other. It is after an argument that the two become separated and in an attempt to reconcile, Carly shows up at Mark’s address only to have his wife answer the door. Amidst the confusion, it becomes apparent to Kate that Carly was her husband’s “other woman.” Kate befriends Carly to gain a better understanding of the situation. Instead, they become better friends than they


originally intended. A few nervous breakdowns and tantrums into the movie, Carly and Kate set out to get back at their cheating husband/boyfriend. Meanwhile, Mark is off with another woman who Carly and Kate discover to be much younger and sexier. The third woman, Amber, is a free-spirited blonde bombshell played by none other than the hottest topic of the year, Kate Upton. After yet another tantrum from Carly and Kate, Amber meets them. Learning that she is just another mistress, Amber joins the force against the evil hunk. Together, this triple threat makes for an entertaining chick-flick.  Director Nick Cassavetes is a familiar face in Hollywood having directed The Notebook and My Sister’s Keeper as well as making short appearances in movies such as The Hangover Part II. Cassavetes has an impeccable style and belongs in filmmaking. Although there were few, there were noticeable faults throughout the movie. During a heated argument between the women in the beginning, you could

feel Diaz’s engines getting ready to drop the f-bomb. While her lips still visibly mouthed the word, her fbomb was dubbed with the word “flipping” instead. It’s OK, I’m sure no one noticed (I did). This would explain why the film was originally advertised as being rated R, but no more than a week before it’s release it was being advertised as PG13. Again, I’m sure no one noticed (Again, I did). Aside from technical faults, I was slightly disappointed in the inconsistency of some spots in the film. Certain parts felt very random and misleading. A strange comment here and there and tiny dose of unexplained events, I couldn’t help but feel sidetracked. Even the characters’ personalities felt inconsistent. Mann’s performance was truly all over the place and Upton’s performance lacked intimacy. No hard feelings, Upton is very new to cinema. As for Mann, I expected a little bit more. Although this movie had its cons, it had even more perks. With an amazing soundtrack, a beautiful setting, a ridiculously goodlooking cast and Cameron

Trendy hairstyles in a twist by Alex Noyes Staff Writer

Fremont High School’s diverse student body brings a wide variety of interests in clothing, music, sports and hobbies. Students not only express themselves by the clothes they wear, but also by their hair. Around campus, you see guys with similar haircuts to others because it’s difficult to style short or medium-length hair. Lately, the trend at Fremont for guys with short hair is a simple buzzcut in which the guy has the same extremely short hair length all around. In addition to this haircut, guys tend to get their hair short all around with neatly tapered edges on their hairline. You may also see what guys like to call a “fohawk” or the “half mohawk”. This is not a full mohawk, but distinct enough to be considered one. Most guys don’t like to be super f lashy with hairstyles like this, but those who want to be somewhat unique decide to get the fohawk. Many guys who have medium to longer hair tend to go either the route of the fohawk, slick and spiked, or a classic comb-over. Guys also tend to keep the sides short and their top longer and wavy. You also see guys who like to spike their hair in the

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

COMMON hairstyles for a casual, stylish look: fishtail braid (left) and messy bun (right).

front, but keep the sides and back short. Curly, straight, long, or medium hair can be transformed into what is officially called the “undercut”. For girls, one of the many trending hairstyles is the “girl next door” hairstyle which is a combination of long and curly hair. Many girls seen around Fremont rock the french braid hairstyle in which 3 sections of the hair are weaved and braided together near the nape of the neck. The fishtail French braid takes two sections of the hair and braids them near the nape of the neck. This may not be what you call a “hairstyle”, but girls that want to be able to do their hair fast and

efficiently choose the messy bun style. This is one of the more common hairstyles found around Fremont for girls, because it is both simple and stylish. The “middle part” is another popular alteration that girls are choosing to go with now a days. Instead of creating a natural part, girls tend to part their hair in the center, curling and zig-zagging small sections of the hair. This style works with all kinds of face shapes and hair density types. Girls with straight hair typically go with the more casual side-part look, but either part works just fine. No matter what hairstyle you choose to do, it is unique to you and is how you express yourself.

Photo Courtesy of

Diaz’s shoes, The Other Woman is worth seeing. The film included classics like Le Vie en Rose, Love is a Battlefield and Girls Just Want to Have Fun (totally chick-friendly).  From the city to the suburbs to the Bahamas, this movie is extremely pleasing to the eye. Cassavetes has an exceptional taste in beach scenes. As for the good-looking cast, Cassavetes outdid himself on this one. Mann

and Diaz, the more familiar faces, are as beautiful as ever. Coster-Waldau who has recently been on the rise due to his show Game of Thrones, has a face that was made for Hollywood. As for Upton, she’s OK I guess (jokes, jokes). After appearing on magazine covers worldwide such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair and GQ, Upton has been ranked as one of the sexiest models today.

Also, the brother of Kate, Phil, is played by Zero Dark Thirty and Chicago Fire actor Taylor Kinney who was quite the eye candy himself. Despite a couple of flaws, The Other Woman was generally enjoyable. It truly brings audiences an exciting and different approach on the situation. One thing’s for sure, this marks the beginning of a new generation of revenge.

Arts & Entertainment What’s the buzz about the spelling bee? May 13, 2013


by Marcus Saranglao Sports Editor

Hey, did you see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee? From May 1st-May 3rd, the Fremont High School Performing Arts Department produced their first (and final) musical rendition of Rebecca Feldman’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the 2013-2014 school year. The story is about 6 students competing for the spelling championship of a lifetime, proving their worth, becoming standoffish or for another underlying reason. What made this musical so captivating, bringing the audience to a positive uproar, was mainly the humor and musical scores. The silly banter between the characters was quite entertaining, combining clever wit, abrupt attention and feel good kid humor. The characters portrayed as the spellers were really spectacular. Every actor and actress had their own special talent, which made all of them very likeable. There were no signs of genericness of a character archetype, so

each personality was different from one another. The diversity of the cast outlined no strictly based plot formula or routine that was predictable, certifying that this musical is not a bore. The plot wasn’t difficult to follow, and the side stories provided depth and insight for the characters. It was a nice touch. The subplots were a great tool to show the reasons for why the spellers wanted to win the spelling competition. Reasons varied from proving that smartness, invalidating family claims of being dumb to maintaining the status quo of being the top of the top. It certainly captured the interest of the audience. Speaking of musicals, the rendition of musical score “Pandemonium” was the highlight of Friday night’s performance. The show tune choreography of the chaos of the spelling bee was destructive, but not in the sense of ruins. The calamity was entertaining; a quick glance at the audience showed signs of positive reactions and silent giggling. Funnily, throughout the disorganized distress of the main cast, the volunteer guest spellers were sitting down stoically, nothing fazed them. It was spot on, displaying the unfairness

between the guest spellers and the main cast, who were given simple words to spell such as cow, holding the same difficult merit as spelling the word acouchi. The entire scene was splendidly pandemonic. However, rating points had to be docked due to the inevitable “brain farts” that occurred towards the end. Although it was day 2 of the musical, it was opening night for some of the actors. Sometime after the musical performance “The I Love You Song”, slip ups occurred. Some lines were briefly missaid and brief awkward pauses that were casually dismissed if you weren’t paying attention. Being the last performance of the 2013-2014 school year means to have fun with the final performance of the semester, but also holding the mindset of giving your best performance, which holds the burden of having high expectations of a high school adaption of a Broadway musical. Again, this was a well executed performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, with a 4 stars out of 5 rating. Definitely, this raises the bar for expectations for next year’s batch of plays and musicals.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

ACTORS and audience participants perform at the Fremont High School musical.

Oded Tzori Sophmore

There was once a baby born to a poor family. And the baby’s mother hugged and kissed him. And the baby laughed. And the baby was happy. And the baby grew. There was once a boy who went to an average school. And the boy’s teacher told him how smart he was. And the boy blushed. And the boy was happy. And the boy grew. There was once a young man who held a fair job. And the young man’s boss appreciated his hard work. And the young man was proud. And the young man was happy. And the young man grew. There was once a man who found the love of his life. And the love of his life loved him. And the man loved. And the man was happy. And the man grew. There was once an old man who had nobody. And the old man had no mother of which to hold. And the old man had no teacher of which to complement. And the old man had no boss of which to respect. And the old man had no lover of which to love. And the old man was sad. And the old man was happy. And the old man grew no more.

sports Teamwork leads team to league and CCS May 13, 2014

by Chau Nguyen Sports Editor

With only four league games until the end of the season, varsity boys baseball has dictated a pace that might lead them to Central Coast Sections (CCS) and league finals. If they make it to CCS, it will be the third time in a row, which has only been accomplished a few times in school history. It would be the first win at leagues in over ten years, if they win. Currently, the team has a record of 14-9 and 10-3 in league. The team is tied first in league with Milpitas High School, but how they play in their last games will determine whether they’ll take first, or second place. For most of their games, they have done very well. In a nonconference game at Lynbrook High School, they won 9-0. Against Homestead High School, they won 8-7, but against Piedmont Hills High School they lost 0-11.

The other games they’ve won were close wins, like the 5-4 win against Cupertino High School. Coach Pete Hernandez is trying to improve the inconsistency he sees. “Being more consistent is it,” he said. “Especially with these last five, seven games. Collective effort for us is to finish strong.” Another thing he wants to focus on is how many missed opportunities they have had at hand and also to maximize all players’ potentials, for when they go to college. “We’ve had chances to get a big lead in league, jump ahead and dictate the pace,” Hernandez said. “Then we stumbled with a big loss in the last couple of weeks. High school baseball season is three to four months, but as soon as it starts, it’s over. I’m just trying to help these kids maximize this last year. These kids have been playing for the last five, six, seven years together and this is probably the last year they’ll be playing

Chau Nguyen | The Phoenix

SENIOR Nick Zuniga is coming set before he makes a pitch to Tino.

together.” Most of the players on the team have known each other and played baseball together for a long time. “We have a good group of kids,” Hernandez said. “We only got 12 guys on varsity and a lot of these kids have known each other for several years, dating

back to elementary, middle school, high school. So you know, the unity, the camaraderie. They get along really well and they work good together. The team atmosphere is a lot different than we had.” During practice, players practice pitching, batting and improving their

Rookies qualified for CCS by Sonya Jindal Copy Editor

The Fremont High School golf team is wrapping up their season with having sent two of their players to California Coast Sections (CCS) qualifying rounds. Sophomores Justin Young and Chelsea So both qualified for CCS due to their outstanding golf league averages. Young played an 18 hole qualifier in San Jose on April 29th. Although he did not advance past qualifying matches, Young is motivated to improve and challenge for one of only eight CCS spots reserved for our leagues best, next year. So competes in October for girls CCS golf qualifying. “I will surely prepare for CCS and hopefully do better than I did last year,” So said. The team welcomed nearly a full roster of new players after many seniors graduated from last year’s team. This new team used this year to gain experience and work on lowering both individual and team scores. “In the beginning of the year, our golfers were learning and gaining experience and we were shooting in the 290s, which is not too good,” Coach Aaron Eeg said. “However, by seasons end, we had shed 60 shots and were shooting around 230.” Eeg is happy with the

Photo Courtesy of Aaron Eeg

huge improvement the team has shown.

Fremont gets to go against and learn from the best which can be both inspiring and frustrating. -Aaron Eeg Golf matches consist of 12 total players, six from Fremont and six from the opposing school that Fremont plays that match day. Golfers go out in groups of four where two golfers play against two opponent golfers. Each of the school’s top five scores are tabulated and compared against the other school’s top five scores. The sixth score, or highest score, is dropped from the total. So, Young and freshman Kenta Itow had three of the team’s lowest scoring averages for this season. Seniors Brian Riki-

maru, Mason McCloskey and Jeffrey Lin also contributed to the score, shooting mainly in the 40s. For nine holes of golf, a score in the 40s is pretty good. A score in the 30s is fantastic and usually means that player has a future in golf at least amongst the college ranks. Young and So received the medalist honor in a few of Fremont’s matches. This means they had the best individual score for the match. Although Fremont did not win a league match, Fremont often won the medalist position in almost half of their matches. The medalist entitles the player’s names and their score to be published in the newspaper for both the public and scouts from colleges or university to see. Fremont received five medalists over the course of 12. The team is primarily made up of boys. This factor allows So to stand out amongst them.

“Being the only girl on the team isn’t much of a bother since I grew up playing golf with mostly boys,” So said. “Though when it comes to playing non-co-ed teams, I do feel the need to prove myself since I am a girl playing in the boys golf season.” In league play, Fremont plays against six different schools at both home and away matches. Fremont won three non-league matches prior to league play. “It is really difficult to earn a league win because our league and division are so tough,” Eeg said. “In fact, Gunn and Palo Alto High School are both in our division of 7 teams and both not only won our league but also advanced to CCS.” Eeg likes to challenge each player on the team to play their own ball, shoot their own score and not worry about the course, competition, the weather or any other extrinsic factors that do not affect a person’s score. “Fremont gets to go against and learn from the best which can be both inspiring and frustrating,” Eeg said. Looking to the future, Fremont golf says farewell to seniors Rikimaru, Lin and McCloskey. Rikimaru played 4 years, Mason played 2 years, and Lin starting playing this season. The goal for next year’s golf team is to win a league game and advance on to CCS.

technique. After, there is usually a simulation of a two ball game, where players face against each other. This allows them to analyze and improve their peers, while also putting what they learned together. “We definitely want to focus on getting the team better and working as a team,” Hernandez said. “Individually, we try and work with certain kids, making adjustments. You know, baseball’s a game of adjustments. They’re going to fail more times than they succeed. It’s about making small adjustments throughout the whole year.” Hernandez tries his best to motivate them consistently, but firmly, to tell them what they must improve on to be successful. “I’ve played college ball, I’ve played ball at the next level, so I try to use my experience, past and prior, to help them make those adjustments to be more successful,” he said Hernandez’s initials goals have been met, since


they are on track for competitions and competing at a higher level. Although most of the players on varsity are seniors, he doesn’t find it a problem that many of the starters this year will be leaving “This year was kind of a rebuilding year itself,” he said. “We’ve lost a lot of starters from last year’s team. We just want to set a good foundation, set a good example with the group we have now and roll it over to the upcoming years.” The team spirit empowers the players. Their chants during baseball games motivate them. Although it is the last year that most of the players will play baseball together with, the season is defined as memorable and exciting, as they are on track for CCS and leagues. “We have a lot of kids that are very accountable,” Hernandez said. “We don’t get the point of the fingers or blaming other people. We got a good core, we got a good nucleus.”

New policy promotes quality over quantity Fremont High School’s swim team is limited when it comes to the amount of players, but they come out on top when it comes to effort. “[The] season is going well,” Coach Julie Williams said. “Many swimmers have drastically improved times since the beginning of the season.” This year’s season is more serious in comparison to previous years, mainly because there are new coaches with new ideas and they make things such as daily attendance to practice, mandatory. They start with warm ups, then Williams gives them their relay sets, which is how far they will swim and what stroke they’ll use. She measures their time, so later on they can try and beat their current best time to get faster and improve their endurance. The coaches are set on the idea of self-improvement, since it is a crucial thing to consistently be motivated. “As a coach, we have many swimmers that all have expertise in different strokes,” Williams said. “Modifying workouts to ensure they are challenging and allowing time for improvement is always a challenge.” Another form of training the coaches do is having the great and experienced swimmers within the lanes of the lesser experienced ones. According to Williams, mixing up swimmers in their practice lanes and having more experienced swimmers work with less experienced swimmers who are in need of assistance is very helpful. This is because experienced swimmers can give confidence and also improve their own teaching. Some swimmers that were not on the team last year were easily able to get used to this year’s stricter policy. since this was the first policy they know and are comfortable with. Other veteran swimmers might not have been able to get used to the season so quickly, because it was different from last year’s more lenient policy. Although their team is small, the freshmen newcomers that joined this season are a great addition to the team in terms of quality. “I have seen a lot of individual and team improvements on swimmers throughout the season,” Williams said. “Many of our team relays have drastically improved, in addition to individual events.” Their disadvantage is in quantity, not quality. “It’ll be better for everyone all round since the main problem the team has is the lack of players,” Williams said. said. Overall, the swimmers are very motivated this season as they head into leagues. by Nicole Stibbard

Staff Writer



May 13, 2014

Slow start for boys, girls pulling ahead by Priya Lee

Lead Photographer

With summer on the way, the Fremont High School track and field team is finishing their season off strong. Track and field consists of 16 events including throwing, running and jumping. Fremont track and field is part of the El Camino League and if they qualify, they move onto the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) with 14 other schools. From there, the top six athletes from each event move on to the Central Coast Section (CCS) meet. Some athletes stood out during the El Camino League meet on May 7th, which took place at Wilcox High School. Sophomore Annah Jones placed second in the 100 meters race and third in the 200 meters race. Junior Sabina Dayal placed third in long jump and senior William Yeh placed second in the 110-meter

hurdles. Jacqueline (JJ) Escalera was the league champion in both the 800 and 1600 meter races. Some of the CCS hopefuls from Fremont are Escalera for the 800 and 1600 meter runs, Dayal for the long and triple jump and Yeh for the 110 meter hurdles However, one of the CCS contenders were knocked out of the race during the El Camino League Finals. Saul Scher was unable to advance because even though he placed first at the freshman sophomore level, that level is unable to move on past the regular league finals. Some athletes like Dayal and Escalera are returning to CCS and they hope to go even further this year. “This season I’ve gotten a lot better at tactical races, strategy and conserving energy, but still running smart races,” Escalera said. “Personally, I’ve had personal records a couple times and I’ve had a

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

JJ Escalera and Shelby Cox pace themselves in the varsity 1600 meters.

lot of top threes at invitationals.” “Freshmen year I went to CCS and last year I went to CCS for long jump again, but this year I hope that I go to CCS for both long jump and triple jump,” Dayal said. “I’ve been more consistent and stuff and I’ve been better.” Many other CCS contenders are just taking each race day-by-day and hoping for the best. “This season has had its ups and downs,” Yeh said.

“Some races are really good and some races I stop in the middle. So far, during the end of the season I’ve been doing pretty well. I think I have a decent shot of getting into top six, but anything can happen at SCVAL. Hope for the best.” Not only are certain individuals excelling in their events, the team has been doing well. “Definitely throughout the season just from the start, we can see the hard work in our results and our

races,” senior Brandon Cross said. “Our times are way faster than we thought that they could be at the beginning of the season. This year in general, we have a bigger team than we normally have and we have more personal records this year than I’ve seen in my four years.” Even though there have been a lot of personal improvements on the team, there are a lot of competitive opponents to go up against to make CCS. In the last dual meet against Homestead High school, Fremont set a total of 39 personal records. “Our league is one of the power leagues in CCS, so we have a lot of people who are CCS ranked, like in the top 20 to top 25, but that doesn’t mean they’ll make CCS because our league has a lot of talented people especially the girls,” head coach Mark Shields said. The varsity girl’s team has been having an exceptionally well season this year. They placed first at the

Willow Glen Invitational and the Firebird Relays and won second at the Quicksilver Classic. Even though the girls have been extremely successful at the invitational meets, their small team size restricts them from winning some dual meets. “The girls, for the relay meets and the invitationals, they’ve been a powerhouse,” Shields said. “When you go in dual meets and you don’t have a big team, then you don’t have enough girls to fill in. When we go against Santa Clara and we only have like 28 girls and they have more than 60 girls, in an event where you don’t have people, they get all of the points because they have a lot of people. In dual meets we’re just OK because we don’t have a lot of people, but in the big relay meets, the girls are gangsters.” The athletes are giving their all, in hopes of breaking personal records and progressing on as far as they can.

Spring Firebird Athletes

Senior Radostin Ivanov Position: Varsity one doubles player. Why do you play badminton? I get to work out and stay active, and seeing if I made my shots make it are great. I used to play badminton recreationally, but I joined in high school with my friends. We do a lot of team bonding and it makes you feel like family. Advice for future players: Practice, get your basics down, so you’re ahead of a lot of people. Go to Bintang. If you’re interested, give it a shot because it’s like family. The upperclassmen are friendly.

Senior Steven Uehara Events: Varsity long jump, triple jump and the 200m dash. Why do you do track? It gives me something to do, instead of just staying at home and doing nothing. Advice for future runners: My recommendation is do what you want to do. If you feel good doing something, working out, running, jumping, throwing, whatever, then join track. Don’t compare yourself to bring yourself down. Compare to improve yourself.

Junior Ronen Burd Position: Varisty three singles, meaning he is the third ranked singles player on the team. Why do you play tennis? The fast reflexes and the quick logical thinking makes it exciting and it keeps me focused. Advice for future players: As cliché as it is, practice makes perfect. You need good footwork. Physically, you need to have strong knees, so you have to have leg training and mentally, you need to know how to remain calm.

Sophomore Carmen Steinmeier Events: Varsity 100 meter butterfly, butterfly in the 200 meter medley relay, 400 meter freestyle relay. Why do you like swimming? It keeps me in shape and I do it to get in shape for water polo too. I like hanging out with my friends and talking to the coach because he’s really funny. Advice for future swimmers: Just go in and do it. Even if you’re not the fastest, the whole team is a family and you’ll definitely improve.

Junior Vanessa Ramirez Position: Varsity second base. Why do you play softball? Coming into Fremont, I always wanted to do softball ‘cause I’ve been doing it since middle school, so I thought I’d keep going since I love it. I love to play. I like being out here, ‘cause it’s really fun being out here with other girls that also like to play it and it gets me going. It makes me happy. Advice for future players: If you want to try something new then come out. Even if you haven’t played it, you’ll get the feeling.

Sophomore Chelsea So Position: Sole varsity female golfer on the team. Why do you play golf? I used to do tennis when I was young and I still do, but my dad enrolled me in golf because he wanted me to get a golf scholarship. He put me in tennis for the same reason, but he thought I couldn’t get a scholarship. Advice for future players: Just go in and go for it. There’s free balls at the driving range on Monday and if you try out, you’re most likely not going to get cut. Work on your game and just swing.

Junior Dean Otsuka Position: Varsity outfield, second and third base. Why do you like baseball? I’ve played a lot of sports when I was young, but baseball’s my favorite. It’s a challenge. You can’t leave, come back and expect to be better. You always have to practice. I love the game and the players. Advice for future players: Keep your grades up and respect the group. Baseball’s team oriented. You shouldn’t take games seriously because they’re just games. You should always try to improve.

Senior Long Hoang Position: Varsity opposite and setter. Why did you join volleyball? It’s pretty fun. It’s pretty competitive. Winning makes it fun. It’s a team sport, so the people make it fun. Also, I needed some P.E credits. And I played in middle school. That’s pretty much the reason why I decided to play. Advice to join volleyball? Just do it. If you’re committed and you’re looking for some self improvement, volleyball is definitely a sport you should try out.

May 13, 2014 Issue | Issue 7, Volume 2  

Front page: ELD Speech contest, brain cancer awareness. Center spread: Staff feature.

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