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Issue Number V 1/30/09 285 E. Grand Ave. Fox Lake, IL. 60020

The Voice Of Grant Community High School

INSIDE What are your goals for the New Year? Page 3. Grant’s Dance Team is ready to dancee its way to state. Page 5. Should boys and girls have separate classes? Page 6. Wrestling team has nearly flawlesss rd. record. Pagee 7.

Bombs dropped on Gaza Strip hit close to home On Dec. 27, 2008, bombs rained down and ground forces invaded the Gaza Strip yet again. In a battle that has been waged for thousands of years, this surge of violence, titled “Operation Cast Lead,” is the newest. The six month ceaseLydia Wells fire that existed between Israel Features Editor and Palestine ended abruptly when Israel attacked the Gaza Strip after Hamas had fired rockets into southern Israeli towns. So far, it is estimated that over 600 people have been killed. These events can only be understood when looking at the religion, geography, and history of this region. The Gaza Strip, situated between Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the most soughtafter pieces of land. It has become a battleground; a bloody tug-of-war and a source of Arab-Israeli conflict. The question of who owns this piece of land has been disputed since ancient times. The conflict is centered around Gaza, a city of both religious and political importance. The city was most recently controlled by the Palestinian Authority after the complete withdrawal of Israeli settlers and military on Sept. 12, 2005. Afterward, Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) and the Fatah (Palestine Liberation Movement) took control of the Gaza region in the summer of 2007 and Hamas won the democratic election. Soon after, Israel closed its border to the Gaza Strip. Israel claims that Hamas continued to fire rockets from the Gaza Strip across the border into Israel. Then, in late December of last year, Israel launched an air strike into Gaza and targeted militant bases, mosques, and government buildings. The cease-fire had just expired and Hamas vowed it would “not be renewed.” Although the attack is thousands of miles away, students and staff alike at Grant Community High School have stayed tuned in to the daily reports of bombs, blood, and bombardment. Mr. Schmadeke, Global Insights teacher, says, “I was not too surprised [at hearing of these attacks]. The situation in that area was destined to come to this with the ending of the cease-fire.” Also, another round of violence resulted

in the bombing of a UN girls school in the crowded mains to be seen how this situation affects gas prices Jebaliya refugee camp. The hospitals are now filled here in the U.S., but be prepared for them to go back to capacity with victims and there is still confusion up. What you are paying now cannot and will not last.” over who fired first. Wemple agrees, saying that “[gas prices] Israel claims that its attack on the school was in response to mortar fire from within the school. probably will [increase] because of OPEC’s speculaThe explosion killed at least 30, but the repercussions tion.” Lastly, many questions are circulating have continued long after the last blast. Junior Kimmy Wodrich also pays atten- about America and the UN’s support—or lack theretion to the crisis, and believes that the air strike was of—of aid. Wodrich believes aid should be given, and acceptable because “it’s about time Israel stood up soon. “We shouldn’t get involved in other countries’ and did something!” Other students agree that Israel needed business, but this is crazy. I hope Obama looks into it and responds respectto retaliate. fully and gracefully.” Junior Harrison Furthermore, “if it Wemple says he was not gets worse, we need to surprised, as well. “Israel step in because if it gets was fully within their rights to that point, the areas to retaliate by firing rockets obviously can’t fix it on back, but they were only their own,” she says. trying to knock out Hamas’ But this issue is rerocket positions. Then Israel ally affecting people all said that if Hamas stepped over the nation. down from power they The protesters at would not invade. Israel inthe University of Tennesvaded with the sole intent of see were some of these stopping the Hamas with as affected people. They little civilian casualities as disagree that America possible.” should send any supAlthough there port and think that the are many people in support bombing needs to stop. for Israel, there are others that don’t believe its actions The bombing between Israel and Palestine is A group of students protested Jan. 14 in support against Gaza and the people taking a heavy toll all over the world. of the Palestinians and are justified. “It’s good that Palistinians are standing up were out to raise awareness of the violence going for themselves. They have a right to defend them- on. Some students at Grant agree with the selves,” said senior Patty Tasher. “But two wrongs protesters ideas. don’t make a right.” “It seems wrong for Israel to send tanks So how will these events affect us here? “There are Americans with family in this and soldiers into civilian area, against Democratisetting: both Israeli and Palestinian,” says Shama- cally elected leaders,” says senior Josh Dunlap. “The deke. “This action has the ability to affect relation- Palestinians are right to feel the need to fight back.” In the end, time may be the only real ships not only in the Middle East, but also here in weapon in this new round of attacks. Fox Lake.” Schmadeke says, “As long as one group Another problem could affect the US: risof persons is under threat, or subjected, or displeased ing gas prices. “Gas prices will rise. It would not be the with the world’s status quo, there will always be pofirst time,” says Schmadeke, referencing the events tential for future conflict. This particular region has of the 1970’s in which America’s support of Israel been under strain for over 2,000 years. While I am led OPEC to limit production and shipment to the certain that it will eventually end, I, sadly, am not United States, causing gas prices to surge. “It re- looking for peace to be openly accepted and adhered to any time in my life.”

Renovations and updates continue on Grant’s football field G r a n t Community High School is not getting Astroturf. Instead, Grant is getting a new artificial turf that will be put into place after graduation 2009, revolutionizing the way P.E, sports, marching band, and others practice and

turf is low maintenance, nobody has to water it or cut it, and the best part is that it is easier to practice and play on because it doesn’t have the uneven surface of real grass.

Football, soccer, and other sports are the obvious beneficiaries, but other teams such as marching band also reap the bounty. “The turf that they have will be beneficial to us because the kids will be able to practice marching on artificial turf as well as real grass,” said Ms. Skolar, band teacher. Essence Tillery “It will definitely be Staff Reporter different,” said junior Meagan Baran. “You don’t have to play. worry about muddy spots, that’s In order to set all of this in for sure. I can’t wait!” motion, however, a committee was needed Of course, students to organize and plan all of this. at Grant know what this means: “The committee met before more time outside. winter break started,” said Mr. Bentacur, “We’ll be able to go out there principal. “I met with them in December to now and not [have] to worry give them information, asked them questions about rain or mud,” said Ms. about how they’d use the turf. Thompson, P.E. teacher. “We visited Grayslake Central, In all of the glitz and glamour Niles North, Fremd High School, Lake of the new artificial turf, S. Francisco/ Zurich High School [and others]. We had Grant’s stadium will soon get updated with artificial turf. however, are the risks that are The Bark four different turfs to choose from. After we associated with it. “You can use it in any weather condition; visited each school and saw what each turf brought, “I was at Southern [for football camp] you don’t have to worry about tearing it up, or and the Astroturf radiated the July heat. It made it we decided to go with field turf. “Right now, the stadium field is used destroying it. It doesn’t mess up footing or playing, seem a lot hotter than it was. It can also give you for games. With the field turf we’ll be able to whereas with real grass you have to worry about rug burn. When you slide on it during a tackle it can use it to practice on. I’m very excited because mud and ruts,” said Mr. Rous, head football coach. melt your skin in the hot summer months. [But] I’m Mr. Rivette, soccer coach, agrees. excited for the young ‘uns who’ll be using it next the P.E. Department will be able to use it. Band, cheerleaders, Poms will be able to use it from sun “It’s going to be great. We’re going to have more year. It gives you a lot better grip,” said senior Mike activities on it than a regular field would. It [also] Zielinski. up to sun down,” he says. The days of the weather ruining game speeds up the game and cleans up the game. The The new artificial turf is just one of the time and practice time are almost over. Artificial ball is faster and more controllable.” many changes that are coming to Grant.

January 30, 2009

The Bark

The Bark Staff Editors-in-Chief Meital Caplan Rachel Seminara Section Editors Collin Bushing Jordyn L. Boyles Lydia Wells Chief Photographer Shayla Francisco Staff Reporters Alex Carr Stephanie Dogan Katie Loris Paul Kudowski Hayley Pallock Emily Paddock Monserrat Martinez Jeshanah Smith Meagan Stephenson Essence Tillery Kingston Warren

Opinions & Editorials Understand before you judge True or false: all people with mental illnesses are ‘crazy’ or unstable. False. True or false: all people with mental illnesses should be kept in confined areas away from the general public. False. True or false: all people with mental illnesses are not ‘normal’ people. You guessed it. False. A mental illness is defined as an individual’s impairment of normal behavioral functioning. Any number of things can cause impairment, such as an infection or head trauma. There is such a wide range of mental illnesses, from treatable ones such as depression and OCD, to the more severe and life-defining ones like schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. The more common ones, and also the least recognizable, are those of depression and eating disorders. Generally, people like to assume that they could easily recognize someone with a mental illness. They would just look for the common, and often stereotypical, characteristics associated with someone who has a mental illness. But what if you met someone who

Mission Statement It is the mission of The Bark to give a voice to students and to provide those students a public forum for student expression. The Bark is written with the intention to give students and faculty information fairly and impartially. We believe that only when a student body is informed can it be happy, safe, and given the freedom it deserves.

Submission Policy It is the policy of The Bark to be a student newspaper. We value your opinions and you have a right to express them, especially in the form of writing to this newspaper. If you wish to write to The Bark, you may drop off your signed letter and the disk that it is saved on to Room 262 or Mr. Beverly’s mailbox. If you prefer to remain anonymous, we still need your signature or your letter will not be published. -The Editors-

seemed completely ‘normal,’ and he or she told you that they had a mental illness. Would you still be friends with them? What if you found out that the person who sits next to you in math class or plays on the basketball team with you was on medicine for a mental illness. Would you still treat them the same way? The answer should be yes. Sadly, however, most people would probably say no. Society as a whole is afraid of things that are different, or ‘not normal.’ Very rarely do we take the time to further examine these things; they are just brushed aside and it is assumed that someone else will take care of them. But we all know what happens when you assume. Just because someone suffers from a mental illness does not make him or her any less of a person, or in any less need of friends. Most of us can’t even imagine a life with out our best friends there. Why should people with mental illnesses have to live that life? Studies have shown that one of the most effective ways of overcoming mental illnesses is forming strong and lasting relationships with people you trust. Studies have also shown that everyone, at some point their lives, will be

effected by a mental illness, whether it be their own or someone else’s. Why not be the one to help someone through it? Why not be that shoulder to cry on, or that rock of strength? In all actuality, having a mental illness is the same as having the common cold or flu. The brain is sick, and it needs a doctor’s visit and some medicine to get better. The main point here is this: not everything is as it seems. People with mental illnesses don’t deserve to be ignored any more than people without them do. If everyone with a mental illness was ignored, shunned, and cut off from the rest of the world, think about all of the things we would miss out on. Robert Downy, Jr. would never have become the Iron Man. Comedian-actors like Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller wouldn’t be making us laugh with film after film. Athletes such as Mike Tyson and Ricky Williams wouldn’t be considered legends. Critically acclaimed actress Halle Berry wouldn’t have been discovered. Don’t let things like mental illnesses or impairments determine who you talk to. You might miss out on a great friendship if you do.

Battle over the separation of boys and girls

idea into action. In 2006, Principal Alisha Kiner of Booker T. Washington High in Memphis, Tennessee, began separating freshmen and sophomores by gender. “We’ve seen huge, huge increases in test scores,” said Kiner. I believe that gender separated schools and classes can be very beneficial to both sexes when it comes to their education. Kiner presented the data that showed the improved test scores at a National Association for Single Sex Public Education’s international conference. She believes that the differences could make education a bit easier on both teachers and students. Single-gender schools and classes are on the rise already and I don’t believe they could hurt. I think that splitting up the sexes can not only improve test scores, but also boost self confidence. I myself have had the pleasure of being in an all girl classroom. I am currently taking a French

III course here at Grant Community High School and my class consists of 11 girls, including myself. In this class, I find myself being more carefree and not thinking twice about raising my hand to ask a question or volunteer to give an answer. “I have a small class of 11 girls and all of the students are very comfortable with each other,” said Ms. Binder, French teacher. “Presentations and conversations are easier for the students because they feel more at ease.” Being a student, I can often relate to the anxiousness and nervousness of being in a diverse classroom. When it comes es tto o presenting in front of the class or sharing a story, ory, y it can sometimes be a bit nerve racking. With both boys and girls having no one to impress, I believe they would become more outspoken and not be shy when it comes to sharing and explaining what’s on their mind. “The girls are definitely more confident than my girls in co-ed classes,” said Ms. Binder. “I’m not sure if that’s due to a lack of boys or if it’s just the character of this small group.” Focusing is a key element for educational success and that’s what school is about. With co-ed schools and classrooms it is sometimes difficult to not lose that focus. I think that if the genders were separated, girls could stop worrying about their makeup and boys could stop putting on their tough guy show and just be real. They may be surprised to discover

the kind of person they really are. Binder thinks it would be interesting to see what a class of all males would be like. “I would think it would be more rowdy and harder to control,” she said, “but if there are no girls to impress, perhaps boys wouldn’t feel the need to act out and they would be calmer. It would be a really interesting in experiment.” So far, this has all been feedback f from adults, but students who attend single gender classes and schools share similar feelings about gender separation. Junior Akilah Johnson at Detroit International Interna Academy never got involved in robotics when she attended a coed middle school. “I thought robotics would make me look nerdy, specifically to boys,” she said. “At an allgirls school, I’m not so concerned about what people think.” Separating the sexes does not mean that one gender will have advantage over the other. The only thing that would change would be the way we learn. Single gender schools would not mean isolating the sexes and prevent them from interacting with each other. The purpose of separating the genders in schools and classrooms would be solely for educational purposes. In the end what really matters is how you perform academically to impress colleges and employers, not if Bob from across the room checked you out or not.

Your life would be completely different if your school was gender segregated. Who would your friends be? Would your personality be different? Gender segregation is the reality Hayley Pallock for many students around Staff Reporter the country. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, gender segregation is justified by reasons such as the fact that when a teacher smiles at a boy, the boy automatically sees it as a sign of weakness. Could it not just be that certain boys see it that way? Schools would be wasting their time organizing different gender classes when they should be working on other issues in schools that need to be assessed. Experts make the arguments that boys’ brains are larger than girls, making it okay to separate the two sexes. The truth is that boys’ an girls. They brains aren’t significantly larger than are only a measly 9% larger on average. rage. Although there are subtle ubtle nal, gender differences, such as emotional, that only makes up about 1-5 % all. difference in genders overall. Certainly not enough to feel the need d to divide kids. bundant Nowadays, progress is abundant among boys and girls in schooling. Most

importantly it has all happened in a co-educational learning environment. More boys are graduating with higher writing scores than ever, and girls are doing exceptionally well in math and science. Another topic is the message that gender segregation is sending children. It doesn’t remotely reflect children’s future realities, and it is just promoting a gender stereotype that should be put in the past. How can schools teach inequality among genders after all the fights and protests in history to get rid of it. Children must learn respect for one another because before we know it, marriages will be corrupt and the workplace will be in jeopardy. This isn’t the 50’s, and boys and girls are more alike than they have ever been. Our country has overcome most racial tension along with gender differences. Society would be backtracking if they set up schools in that manner. Most importantly, boys and girls learn their social and relational skills from one another. Boys and girls learn mutual respect for each other. If girls were always schooled away from boy boys, can you even imagine what the two genders would grow up to be? If boys ge ddidn’t have girls to impress as they got oolder, it’s probably safe to say that boys would be completely out of control. w Another argument that the other makes, according to the ACLU, is that, side m “boys need a competitive, confrontational learning eenvironment, while girls can only succeed when working with groups and are not placed

under stress.” In my opinion, if they learn these ways during school and get used to it, they’ll be in for quite a shock when applying for a job or going to college. Life is nothing close to gender segregated. Like I said before, our country has already overcome racial discrimination, and gender segregation is very similar. Is it really necessary to add on an old national problem that should be put in the past? It’s time to grow up and start preparing for the children’s futures. Kids need to be taught how to live their lives after they grow up. Separating the sexes in schools isn’t going to do anything except confuse kids, and tell them that they are so different that they can’t even learn together. According to the Washington Post, a change in 2006 federal regulations makes it possible for boys and girls to be separated “as long as classes are voluntary and substantially equal coeducational classes are offered.” This is basically the same kind of law that was made in the past that made it okay to still separate African Americans. Why are we still living in the past and considering separating girls and boys in schools. Spending time to organizing new classes for boys and girls is something that our society shouldn’t be worrying about. The government should focus on helping schools in need, and improving already existing classes rather than fixing something that isn’t broken.

Monserrat Martinez Staff Reporter

Advisor Mr. Beverly


As horrible as it may sound to some students, I think that separating the genders in schools can prove to be not such a bad idea. If people become open minded to this concept and look at it from a beneficial view point, they may find various reasons to consider putting this




January 30, 2009


Unsung heroes at Grant get their solo If you put a tape recorder into every hall of Grant Community High School, what would you hear? Weekend plans and recaps, soft spoken wishes and gossip, college plans and visits. Essence Tillery But I always have to Staff Reporter stop and wonder, Do we ever think or care about things that are outside of ourselves? Something of a wider significance? I hope so. Admittedly, it was hard finding my “unsung heroes”, people who just did something out of the ordinary, or went beyond the beyonds for the greater good. Every time I asked someone if they did or knew someone who did such things I saw people’s eyes go into their heads as if their eyes alone knew where to find such people. When their eyes came back after their ten second reconnaissance mission, a lot of the responses I received were more along the lines of “I don’t know” or “So-and-So does a lot of concessions.” I was disappointed. In my fervent search for the extraordinary, I realized something: being a hero doesn’t have to be that you’re up day and night all the time impacting the community. Being a hero can be something as simple as offering your time and your compassion towards someone (or something). That can speak volumes. One such person is senior Rachel Varney, who volunteers her time at A Refuge for Saving the Wildlife, a center devoted to caring and treating abused birds. “Essentially we make donations and you can adopt birds. Donations aren’t

necessarily money. Some people donate paper, some people donate boxes, [and] some people donate phonebooks. What we do is we clean and play with the birds. I feel bad for some of these birds. One of these birds watched his mate

“You’re there several hours a day. These just aren’t any kind of birds, these are birds that have been abandoned and abused. So many of these birds need good homes, but volunteers can only take home so many. We have

Ninja, an umbrella cockatoo, is just one of the birds that senior Rachel Varney helps at the Refuge for saving the wildlife get ripped apart by a raccoon right in front of him,” says Varney. Despite the sadness and the hard work, Varney continues and falls in love with what she does.

adopted one and I love him. I really enjoy my time at the Refuge,” said Varney. My spirits were lifted at this new finding. But I also found someone else, someone

who, while he doesn’t do a lot of community service, does something out of the ordinary. Junior Max McNamara races cars and he’s the best in his field. “I’ve been racing since I was 8 years old. [I] started out at Jr. Box Stocks at Sugar River Raceway and at 10 years old, [I] moved up into Jr. Super Stocks at Sugar River raceway. When I was 12, I moved up again into Jr. Champ Karts. Since [I was] 14, I’ve been racing Legends.” McNamara’s stats from 2007 include seven Feature wins, setting the Legend track record at Madison International Speedway, finishing 9th in the nation for Young Lions and then finishing 1st in the nation for Young Lions, winning 27 top 5’s out of 30 races, placing 1st in the Burris Circle Tour Championship, and so on; there are too many to list. In 2008, his stats range from placing in the top five 34 times out of 39 races, to setting track records at Madison International Speedway. “Next year I’m racing Legends again, but racing a part time mid-am car [which is] a full size stock car,” said McNamara. In today’s time it’s really hard to find people who are the absolute best at what they do, especially in our age group. To someone somewhere, McNamara can be seen as a glimmer of hope. The conclusion of the matter is that heroes are everywhere. Sometimes, I just feel that they need a little recognition, and that people need to think about important things at times. But in all of this, I say I’m glad for what I found.

What is your goal for the New Year?

My goals include: looking better, eating more, losing weight, finishing the Rubiks Cube in under 10 seconds, change McDonalds theme to “We be Loving it,” rent Jurassic Park Twice, and finally end world hunger.

I actually have a few goals. For one, I need to get a job. I am also striving to be better looking. I want a new oven, maybe an Easy Bake. I seriously need a job.

- Sophomore Mike Hayes

My goal is to become president, to help the poor, to improve my grades and maintain it with a busy and helpful schedule, and to eat healthy. - Sophomore Nikki ashmore

- Junior Bret BEnnette

Seniors, are you interested in receiving a $1,000 scholarship?

For the new year, one of my goals is to do better in school and pay more attention in Mr. Talbot’s class. Also to turn in my homework on time and just live my life. Also to resolve things with my best friend. - Freshman Dolly Shishodia

The Lindenhurst- Lake Villa Chamber of Commerce through its Paul Yurs Memorial Scholarship Committee awards THREE $1,000 scholarships to seniors residing in Lake Villa Township. The scholarships are awarded not only on the basis of academics but also on school, work, and community involvement. See the guidance office for details and an application form.


January 30, 2009


Features kingston’s korner: Bride Wars a laughless let-down

“ B e s t friends”—I hear it all the time. But what exactly is a best friend? Is it someone you can tell anything to? Or just a friend you trust more than Kingston Warren any of your other Staff Reporter friends? What makes one person our best friend and others not so much? In the movie Bride Wars we have two best friends—Liv and Emma—who have been best friends since they were about six. Liv, who never really had a relationship with her parents, has her fondest memories coming from attending a wedding at the Plaza. Since that memorable day she and Emma vow to be married at the Plaza in June when they’re older. Liv is a hard working lawyer and has to have everything in line and perfect and by all means will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Emma, on the other hand, is a middle school teacher who is as gentle as a lamb but can never please herself. She is always doing what she can to fill the needs of those around her. When Emma and Liv are hanging out at Liv’s apartment one night they come across a Tiffany box. They both know it can only mean one thing. Emma later gets her ring in a fortune cookie; pretty smooth, if I do say so myself. So they both have the rings: now let’s plan the day. June 6th for Liv and June 27th for Emma. Smooth sailing

right—wrong. The two find that their weddings have been booked for the same day. They’re best friends, right? They’ll make it work? In my opinion why not have a double wedding; it is easier and would cost less. Who deserves the Plaza more: Liv, a woman with no family except a brother but she hasn’t let that stop her and has worked her way to be a very successful lawyer, or Emma, a wonderful school teacher who gives up everything on a daily basis to see others happy. She also has been saving for ten years on a

used all her energy up in Rachel Getting Married, which won her the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress. But it’s still no excuse. Kate Hudson’s role in this movie ,was no surprise, with her history of disappointments such as Fools Gold, and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, and now another disaster to add to the list. But enough about the movie, I can sum it up by saying it is so predictable. While in the theater I heard a few chuckles here and there but other than that it was silent as a mouse. The whole “best friends” thing is the only thing I found halfway worth watching. Emma and Liv claim to be and prove that they are really best friends in some ways. I love the way that when they’re little they dress up as bride and groom and dance and they have their little treasure chest of things they collected from weddings. One of the items is a picture of Liv’s parents, something I would have thought she wouldn’t keep seeing as how she never knew her parents. teacher’s salary, so does that make her the But what really got to me is how winner already? M a y they never really sat down like friends the best bride win. and talked it out about moving their With this comedy film I found wedding days. I mean they were told the myself unpleased at a lot of ends. Anne weddings were booked on the same day; Hathaway (Emma) is a very funny woman not necessarily the same time so why and has proven she can act in the films didn’t one pick a time in the morning and I’ve seen her in, such as Rachel Getting another in the afternoon and have one big Married and the Princess Diaries. But she reception at night? It would have been doesn’t really show either of those sides less of a hassle and could have avoided like when she was Anne in Get Smart. She all the stupid pranks they pulled on one was funny, but her body language did the another. I mean ladies, you’re 26 years joke telling. old, so grow up and stop dying each In this film she needs to be funny other ’s hair and turning one another ’s but she is more serious than comic; her skin orange as a caution cone. jokes just drop from time to time and her I’m at a loss for words at how character is not there at all. Maybe she bad this movie was. I would give it 1 out of 5 crowns—and that is plenty enough.

Environmental Club has its hands full with helping The Environmental Club at Grant Community High School has always been known for going above and beyond with everything they set out to do. Shayla Francisco With activities Chief Photographer planned throughout the year, such as the recycling program, various highway clean ups, charity events such as the Cinderella Project, and helping out needy families in the community, math teacher and Environmental Club supervisor Ms. Krocza, and members of the Environmental Club, always has its hands full. For the past four years, Grant’s environmental club has been helping select needy families around the holidays. This year’s Environmental Club was able to purchase food and other necessities for the families.

Best Original Score Motion Picture Frost/Nixon-Composed by Hans Zimmer Slumdog Millionaire-Composed by A. R. Rahman* Defiance-Composed by James Newton Howard Changeling-Composed by Clint Eastwood The Curious Case Of Benjamin ButtonComposed by Alexandre Desplat

On top of that, a numerous amount of Grant students donated toys, clothes, and money out of their own pocket to ensure the families would have a great holiday. “We were able to make every wish come true this year, which was wonderful!” says Krocza. J u n i o r Roger Schumacher, a generous donator this year, thinks doing charity work with the Environmental Club is a great opportunity. But some believe that the Environmental Club should be focusing on activities that focus more on educating the student body on environmental issues. Principal Mr. Bentancur believes that the main goal of the Environmental Club

Best Animated Feature Film Bolt Kung Fu Panda Wall-E*

Best Director - Motion Picture Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire* Stephen Daldry – The Reader David Fincher – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road

should be to “help make the environment a better place for the future.” He also states that ideas like the Cinderella Project are great because they combine both the “idea of charity and the environment in the sense that [we were] recycling clothes.” Some think more could be done close to home. “I think there’s definitely more that could be done around the community. I know our waterways are really polluted. Maybe something can be done there,” says sophomore Mike Hayes. As a result of student generosity and involvement when it comes to fundraising and charity work with the Environmental Club, there’s sure to be more positive changes as the years progress.

Best Screenplay Motion Picture The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Written by Eric Roth Doubt Written by John Patrick Shanley Frost/Nixon Written by Peter Morgan The Reader Written by David Hare Slumdog Millionaire* Written by Simon Beaufoy

66th annual Golden Globe Awards

* represents the winner in each category.

Best Motion Picture-Drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Frost/Nixon The Reader Revolutionary Road Slumdog Millionaire*

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married Angelina Jolie – Changeling Meryl Streep – Doubt Kristin Scott Thomas – I've Loved You So Long Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road*

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon Sean Penn – Milk Brad Pitt – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler*

Best Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy Burn After Reading Happy-Go-Lucky In Bruges Mamma Mia! Vicky Cristina Barcelona*

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Rebecca Hall – Vicky Cristina Barcelona Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky* Frances McDormand – Burn After Reading Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia! Emma Thompson – Last Chance Harvey

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy Javier Bardem – Vicky Cristina Barcelona Colin Farrell – In Bruges* James Franco – Pineapple Express Brendan Gleeson – In Bruges Dustin Hoffman – Last Chance Harvey

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Amy Adams – Doubt Penélope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona Viola Davis – Doubt Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler Kate Winslet – The Reader*

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder Ralph Fiennes – The Duchess Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight*

January 30, 2009



Dance Team high-kicks its way to state competition ours.” The Grant Community High School’s Dance Team members have been very dedicated to proving that they are the best this year. They have stepped up to new levels, worked Collin Bushing up a sweat in practices, Op/Ed Editor and have gone against all odds. Junior Michelle Gizowski says, “We are taking things to a higher standard. We have been practicing four days a week. This year has been a tough year too, but we seem to clear those hurdles.” The Dance Team has shown it dedication by completing its goals. The girls have learned and performed multiple routines this year. Ms. Webb, head coach, says, “[The Dance Team] did a new dance for every football game this year, which was a goal of February is the season of love; with Valentine’s Day right around the corner you fella’s need to step up your game to make it a day that’s unforgettable. And by doStephanie Dogan Staff Reporter ing this you have to think hard and clear for what your significant other may enjoy. Now, this could be roses to dinner and a movie or just a simple card. I’ll give you some outstanding ideas that any one will lust over. First, some fun facts about Valentine’s Day: About one billion cards are exchanged each year in the U.S. resulting in the largest card sending occasion next to Christmas. Women purchase 85 percent of valentines. Worldwide 50 billion roses are given on this day. Seventy three percent of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women. And, superstious people believe that to be woken by a kiss is to be considered lucky, and the first name of a guy/girl that you hear on the TV, radio or paper will be the name of person you will marry. First start off by actually asking them to be your valentine. If you’re taken, it’s pretty easy and obvious that you know who your valentine will be, but it is still thoughtful to ask. Girls, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wait around for the boy


This year’s Dance Team is one of the only teams that has come up with a new routine for every football game. This is a very challenging process, because every individual member of the team has to learn and be able to perform the steps. This is one of the many achievements that the Dance Team has completed this year. Sophomore Leann Risten says, “I think this year our dedication has really bumped up a notch. We’ve been practicing so hard and we needed that a lot.” Along with dedication and completing their goals, the Dance Team has a new coach. The members of the team feel that Webb is helping the team accomplish their goals. Senior Amanda Munsen says, “Ms. Webb is amazing. Not only does she listen to us when we have ideas, but she follows through with them.” This is Webb’s first year coaching at Grant. She has helped the Dance Team for

Valentine’s Day Special to ask you, because let’s face it; they either don’t believe it’s a holiday or just are too stubborn, so make your own move if you’re single, get up your nerves and take a little risk. Like in sixth grade, this one boy worked up his nerves to bring over flowers and a card. And face it, this was a huge step for six graders. So anyone can do it. Considering that Valentine’s Day is a national Hallmark holiday, the hot spots around town will be packed with couples. So I suggest that you make reservations early no matter where you’ll


Random Facts

The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile national monument.

Broccoli is the only vegetable that is also a flower. The world’s termites outweigh the world’s humans 10 to 1.

Children grow faster in the spring.

Camels have three eyelids.

Mosquitoes are attracted to people who just ate bananas.

Beavers can hold their breath for 45 minutes under water.

A honey bee can fly at 15 mph.

A queen bee can lay 8001,500 eggs per day.

Now for heart to heart gifts, it depends on what your motive will be; if you are crushing, this is


Alaska has the highest percentage of people who walk to work.

Almonds are part of the peach family.

The Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters.

The average speed of a housefly is 4.5 mph.

Honey is the only food that does not spoil.

Animals that don’t lay eggs don’t have belly buttons.

The state of Maine has 62 lighthouses.

dances cleaner and adding new moves to make them even better.” The team is constantly improving on their competition routine in order to make it flawless. In order to do well during state, the team must do nothing less than perfect. Munsen says, “I personally think we are going to do amazing! We have been working our butts off and that has helped even more. The hip hop routine is looking great and it keeps looking better for state.” The Dance Team competed in a competition Jan. 11 in Tinley Park, in which they placed third in hip hop and second in pom. They also had competitions on Jan. 24 in Palatine and have one Jan. 31 in Schaumburg. The state competition is on March 8 at the Peoria Civic Center, so everyone be there and cheer the Dance Team to victory. Risten says, “I think that with all of the team’s dedication, hard work, and good attitudes, the team will go far in state. We just need support from our fans!”

your chance to show that person that you are admiring. These gifts could include flowers, chocolate, a card, anything or even nothing because after all you are just crushing, but throw out the fact that you are thinking of them. Now for all of you puppy lover out there, is it love or lust? Too early to find out if you’re just having fun with your significant other, and since you guys pretty much know and understand each other by now, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out what they would enjoy. You could go all out or just show that you care. There’s so much love in the air it won’t matter. Now for all of the love sick “no one understands me” kind of people, try buying a gift for your best friend just showing that you care (like a picture), or just go out and about till you forget everything.

be attending. For starters and if you want to spend some cash, dinner is a good kick off to the night. You can go anywhere, even a McDonalds drive through if you’re that low on money, but I do suggest that the dollar menu shouldn’t be a recommended choice. Afterwards a movie is typically the next choice of entertainment. This could be leading to a hole in your pocket with money; doing a movie night at each other’s house is all in favor for an even better night and less expensive.

There are one million ants to every human in the world.


A goldfish’s attention span is three seconds.

the better, and she has beat the personal challenges that come up with coaching. Webb says, “Like coaching all sports, there are challenges with the job. None that are insurmountable. I love what I’m doing and the girls work really hard.” The Dance Team has shown all of their hard work when they qualified for state. This is the first time in Grant history that the Dance Team will be competing in state. The team placed first for their hip hop dance routine ‘Got Bank.’ They scored the highest technical score and the highest artistic score throughout their competition. In addition, the team placed second with their pom dance routine ‘Super Girls.’ Both of these recognitions are an honor for the Dance Team, but they have to continue to work hard in order for them to do well in the state competition. Freshman Lexi Richards says, “Practices are more often and more intense. It’s time to start really focusing and giving our all. Practice is devoted to making the

Single and seem even more depressed on this day? Don’t dwell on it. It’s just one day that comes and goes and to many people it’s not even a real “holiday”, just a day that Hallmark made up to sell more candy and cards and most of these people result in men. But don’t do anything irrational if you have nobody it’s just a random day where people who are in love express it more. If you don’t have anyone, go out and have fun either with friends or family if you feel real depressed about that day.


This year Valentine’s Day follows Friday the 13th which come every 6.7 years, and is to be considered one of the best times to fall in love. So all you single guys and gals, go out there and find your true love!

A woodpecker can hammer wood up to 16 times per second.

A bee has five eyes.

Slugs have four noses.

Don’t know where to go to college?

On February 16 there are a couple of college open houses. Pay them a visit and see where you can go. Call for more information.

• Eastern Illinois University 1-877-581-2348 • Northern Illinois University 1-800-892-3050 • Southern Illinois University Carbondale 1-618-536-4405 • Western Illinois University 1-877-742-5948

January 30, 2009



More News New studies show that separation improves learning We have all heard the saying that girls mature faster than boys. It is also commonly stated that girls learn better, and are more apt to succeed in school. Boys, on the other hand, are typically better Jordyn L. Boyles at sports and excel better News Editor in the classroom when introduced to hands on learning techniques. However, in a society where everything is integrated and mixed together, it can be difficult to accommodate these common differences so that boys and girls each receive the proper education. A new solution to this old problem has recently come to light: the separation of boys and girls into gender specific, or GS, classes. The first school district in the nation to go completely sex-separated was in Greene County, Georgia, in early 2008, and several other schools across the country have followed suit. Some school districts contain the separation strictly to grade schools, while others enforce the separation all the way through grade 12. To date, at least 366 schools in the nation are entirely single-sex or have GS classes. Recent studies have shown that students learn better when in split environments. According to MSNBC, these studies show that boys will learn better because they will spend less time trying to impress girls and more time behaving, and girls will be more likely to participate in class because they won’t feel self-conscious about themselves in front of their male counterparts. Schools that have incorporated GS classrooms into their curriculum hope that test scores and graduations rates will increase. Eileen Bruton, principal of Salem Middle in Salem, Wis., is well researched on the subject. “I think the structure of a school would basically stay the same if GS classrooms are introduced,” she says. “Students would still move about the school from class to class. The classroom itself is what will change.” Instead of boys and girls going into the same classroom, they would go into separate rooms. In a literature class, for example, the

girls would read the book from start to finish and then discuss the events of the book in order. The boys, however, would start by reading the end of the book and then discovering what situations took place earlier on in the book to reach that ending. “Research shows that most boys become bored when they have to follow a step by step process,” says Bruton. One common complaint about GS classrooms is that students would not receive the interaction with the opposite sex that is needed to acquire appropriate social skills. “There are potential benefits to both groups if a gender division was made in school,” says Mr. Tauberry, school administrator. “Some students would benefit more than others. As much as there are positives to such a proposal, draw-backs do exist.”

sports. Another benefit to this system is that students would potentially feel less vulnerable when asking for clarity or extra help on a particular subject. “Too many times, students do not as questions because they think they [will] look stupid,” says Bruton. “When they are in the same sex groups, they tend to feel more at ease [because] they understand each other, and they ask the questions.” While these new developments provide answers for the thousands of questions posed by poor performance and low test scores, some still feel that it is a long way from becoming the norm in everyday public schools.

“I feel school boards and administrators will need to evaluate their student populations to determine for themselves if this is a supportive change,” says Tauberry. Bruton agrees. “It will take a lot for the community to make a change and understand the benefits of it.” However, she does see its potential. “I do think more schools are going to move in this direction. The law allowing schools to adopt this practice is not very old. Good, solid data from districts that have used this program for 10 years or so will cause other schools to ‘jump on the bandwagon.’”

Bruton, however, does not believe that GS classes would have a negative impact on the socialization of students. She says that students would still have the opportunity to partake in social interaction from lunch, passing periods, s c h o o l Separating the boys and the girls would take place in the classroom but during lunch and passing peridances, and ods, everyone would be mixed including sophomore Tara Vanoverbeke and sophomore Dennis Pranczke.

S. Francisco/ The Bark

Historical Inauguration drew attention of citizens, celebrities, and students The streets of Washington D.C. were lined with over 2 million people as they anxiously awaited President Elect Barack Obama to be sworn into office. Having so many people on such a historic Jeshanah Smith day required a lot of Staff Reporter security. Nearly all of the officials on site worked overtime, and they had trouble keeping up with all of the people

America’s 44th President Barack Obama.

Justin Timberlake, and Ashley Judd. Other A-listers, however, were not asked to attend, for fear that they would detract too much attention from the welcoming of the new president and vice president. “It was a wonderful thing to see the average Americans feeling involved, and seeing a lot of people coming out to support our new president,” said Schmadeke. Not only were the performers asked to provide entertainment, they were also asked to help raise awareness of issues in America. “It’s great that they had so many well known and great performers coming out to support great causes and celebrating the inauguration,” said Schmadeke. Millions of people cheered as Obama gave his inaugural speech. Obama informed the people that now is the time to begin again and “pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.” He told the nation the plans for the future of America and reinforced the fact that America’s spirit is strong. “ O b a m a ’ s speech was inspiring,” said sophomore James Seminara. “It instilled in me faith in our country’s future.” Others are more inspired by the change that Obama is bound to bring. “Obama is different than any other president America has had. When there is a difference it’s just bound to happen that there

in the crowds. The security staff included thousands of officers and federal agents from all over the country. Considering that this year’s Inauguration was one of the most historical, the large masses of spectators was not unexpected. “The security was very tight, considering that they didn’t want any guns around the president,” said Mr. Schmadeke, history teacher. An estimated 2 million or more people were in attendance, including many celebrities. Reportedly seen were Anne Hathaway, Blair Underwood, Spike Leigh, Beyonce Knowles,

will be a significant change,” said senior Anna Presniakov. “So, I believe that Obama will change America in a way that we have not seen before. It’ll be a completely fresh start, with brand new ideas. I’m not sure if it’ll be for the positive or negative aspect, but I’m sure it’ll be just like starting off with a new slate. So it’s really up to our dear President to decide if it’s for the better or worse and how the citizens react to it. But at this point, with the economy and the previous craziness in Iraq, any change is good change.” After the Inauguration, many Inaugural Balls took place all throughout the Washington D.C area on the night of the big event. The Presidential Inaugural Committee was in charge of organizing 10 of the Inaugural Balls, and each of them was catered to a different group of people, such as active duty military and American youth. Jan. 20, 2009 was a very special and historic day and always will be remembered.

Have something to say? In these times of change, give The Bark your opinion on just about anything. Send your Letter to the Editor to room 262 and let others read what you have to say.


January 30, 2009


Nearly spotless record keeps Grant wrestling at the top of its game As always, the Grant Community High School wrestling Bulldogs are doing very well, with a record of 13-1. The team has been training hard all season, and it is paying off, as the conference and regional meets are just Katie Loris around the corner. Staff Reporter Mr. Geist, head coach, is hoping that the team will bring home victories from both of those meets. Although those meets are important, he was more worried about the meet on Jan. 9 against Oak Park River Forest (OPRF). OPRF is ranked the number one wrestling team in the state, and that meet has been the only one that the Bulldogs have not won. The end score was 45-15, with Grant coming up short. Geist also felt uneasy about the meet against Glenbard North on Jan. 24. Glenbard North is ranked number five in the state, and certainly presented a challenge. By training hard this season, the wrestlers have seen great enhancements in their abilities. “I’m doing much better than last year, and I have been improving on my technique and conditioning,” says Junior Justin Lalanda. Junior Jason Montemayor is also pleased with the way he is doing this season. In fact, Montemayor won the tournament at Sycamore on Jan. 10, and also performed well at the previous Burlington tournament. “It felt pretty cool. If I want to do

good at State these tournaments let me see my competition before I get there,” says Montemayor. “In order to make it to state, I have to focus on the simple things such as my stance and position.” Everything that the wrestlers do during practice can contribute to their performance during their match. “I have pushed myself and others in the wrestling room and I am happy with how that has helped me perform out on the mat,” says senior Tyler Dempsey. Most of the wrestlers have goals they want to reach and ways to improve their chances of winning at the conference and regional meets. Dempsey plans on improving his offense, and is relentless in doing well at future meets. Montemayor is also working hard to step up his game. “Since I’m not losing any weight this season, I try to get stronger, workout hard, and keep my conditions up.” Making it down to state is an ambition that many wrestlers hope to accomplish before the end of the season. “I think that if we all continue to work hard in practice and continue to improve our technique, we will be able to [go to state],” says Dempsey. Having the meet against OPRF be their first loss, it would not be surprising for the wrestlers to make it down state as a team or as individuals. “We have the potential to place in state. I believe we have a strong team so if we push ourselves we can do it,” says Montemayor. Dempsey also feels positive about the

team’s prospects. “I think that we have a good d chance of m does their placing this year if everyone on the team job and the leaders on the team step up and raise ey. the bar for everyone else,” says Dempsey. e, When it comes to performance, most of the team feels as if there are things they could have done to improve their wrestling. “A lot more off season wrestling could help,” says Dempsey. “Mat time is one of the big keys in improving in this sport, and the youngerr nd kids should take advantage of it and wrestle in the summer.” ear Montemayor wrestles all year es a long and lifts weights at least four times n shape week in the summer so that he stays in all year round. d well and Last year’s team performed this year’s team did the same. As a whole, the team worked just as hard as last year and it has payed off. “Our coaches push us hard every year so that we always have to work hard in the wrestling room because that is the only way to get better,” says Montemayor. ng about Wrestlers are already thinking n doing next season, and what they plan on ng new differently. Lalanda plans on learning he off techniques and working harder in the season. So the season is nearing its end y’ll and the wrestling team looks as if they’ll Senior Tyler Dempsey uses full physical close it with a good record, keeping up the force to take down the other wrestler. reputation of Grant Wrestling.

S. Francisco/ The Bark

Girls basketball team determined to fight furiously for excellence and wins The Grant Community High School girls varsity basketball team has kept its impressive record as it moved into the 2009 year. Midway through the season the team has Paul Kudowski Staff Reporter a record of 11-7 and is 3-3 in the NSC Prairie Division. However, the team is improving with every practice to be the best they can be. “We are always improving and always taking another step forward,” says senior Brittani Schisler. “At this time we are working on becoming more consistent,” says Mr. Eiduke, head coach. After a tough 42-46 loss at home to Round Lake High School Jan. 6, the girls bounced back and got the victory over Vernon Hills Jan. 10, with a score of 46-33. With two tough games coming the next week against Wauconda and Antioch, the girls had to practice hard and looked to get revenge against Antioch, whom they lost to by just one point, 46-47, on Dec. 2, 2008. “Practices are always busy. We always have something to do to help us reach our potential as a team,” says Schisler.

Feb. 3.

Senior Gina Celluci forcefully defends the ball during a heated match. “The practices are hard but help us a lot to win games,” says junior Jaclyn Smyth. Still, the team is confident that it can overcome these new challenges, which also included a game against Lake Zurich High School Jan. 30 and a rematch with rival Round Lake in back-to-back games on Feb. 2 and on

“Thus far our two toughest opponents have been Mundelein and Round Lake, later this year we are also playing Lake Zurich, which is an outstanding team,” says Eiduke. “I am most looking forward to the next time we play Round Lake because they are a tough team to beat, but they are beatable,” says Smyth. Clearly the rematch against Round Lake seems to be the marquee matchup in the latter stages of the season. S. Francisco/ “I am looking The Bark forward to the Round Lake game because they are our rivals and are supposed to be good this season,” says senior Amber Potts. As the season goes on, one accomplishment seems to be the main focus of the team at this moment. “We want to win our conference this

year,” says junior Rose Mustari. “Our goal is to win as many games as we can and try our hardest in every game, and win our conference,” says Smyth. However you cannot be too overconfident and have to be ready for what is coming up next. That is exactly what seems to be on the mind of the coach. “At this time the only thing we can control in regard to winning the division is winning our own games,” says Eiduke. To win games, not only does a team need teamwork, but it also needs leadership, and the Bulldogs are certainly no exception. “Many players have stood out this year, especially our seniors-C.J. Hill, Amber Potts, Gina Celluci, Alyssa Pasiewicz, and Brittani Schisler have provided great leadership for our entire team and our younger players,” says Eiduke. The girls are also fond of the new coach and his new style of coaching. “He’s a really good guy and knows a lot about the game,” says Mustari. “I love his coaching style. It’s new along with our new line-ups,” says Celluci. It looks like the Bulldogs are on the right track and ready to make a charge for the conference championship.

Bowling team stays upright under pressure to hold impressive 5-1 record The Grant Community High School bowling team started out the season strong and continues to show great progression. “As a team we have been doing very Emily Paddock well,” says senior Serina Staff Reporter Stow. Spirits are high throughout the entire team about the development it has seen throughout the new year. “I think the season is going great both as a team and individually,” says senior Elizabeth Bengtson. “I’m focused at practice and as a team we try really hard at competition.” Ms. Miller, head coach, agrees that the team has proven itself to be successful. “I’m pleased with how hard the team is working. Their dedication is showing on the lanes since we are 5-1,” says Miller. A lot of the recognition for the team’s accomplishments is credited with the coaches, Ms. Miller and Ms. Balanag. “Our coaches not only help us find out

our strike shots, but Ms. Miller always keeps us motivated and in a good mood with her sense of humor,” says Bengston. Although the team has been doing great, it may be facing some obstacles in the near future. “I think our most difficult challenge will be sectionals,” says Stow. “In order to go to state we need to place 1st or 2nd, so there will be pressure.” Junior Alexis Capps feels the pressure of state arising as the season progresses. However, to make it that far the team is going to have to defeat several tough teams. “We want to try to make it to state and our hardest competition would be Zion and Antioch,” says Capps. The team has also seen its individuals grow as bowlers and develop new skills. “Many of our bowlers are working hard to take their game to the next level- either learning a new release or how to read and adjust to lane conditions,” says Miller. “These are all things that take time to master; they have some good days and some bad days. It’s all part of the game”. With tournaments every weekend,

says Stow. “It would be such as the Rockford a great accomplishment invite on Jan. 24, and the conference and to make it.” sectionals meet at Even with all the anxiety that comes the end of January, with performing well at the girls have a few the meets, the players goals that they need to continue to meet. are still having fun and “The the seniors are enjoying their last season. [expectations] are the “I’m upset same as usual: work hard, represent Grant to be leaving,” says well, support one Stow. “I’m close with another, and win,” says everyone, so it will be hard to leave. I hope Miller. someone next year will With a set S. Francisco/ be as loud as I am to goal, great enthusiasm, Senior Dori Rivera The Bark and positive attitudes, prepares to show off her psyche the other team bowling skills this team seems to have out.” an equation for victory. Senior Caitlin Loving even has “[We’re] hoping to win conference early parting words for her fellow teammates. again and make it to state,” says Capps. “I would just like to thank my team for making The qualifications for the state meet this the best year.” are not easy to accomplish, however, and the So remember to mark your calendars team will have to work hard. for the upcoming bowling events, and join the “In order to go to state we need to team on their road to victory. place first or second, so there will be pressure,”

January 30, 2009


Sports While the Grant Community High School cheerleading team may seem innocent and girly with their made up faces, tight curls, and clean uniforms, that perception is cleared away when Meital Caplan the team steps up on Editor-in-Chief the competition floor to deliver tough stunts, hardhitting tumbling, and stiff moves. In their first competition, the girls didn’t execute their routines to the best of their ability and ended up taking 4th place out of 5 schools. The team did not leave the competition satisfied. “I think we could have done way better than what we performed,” says junior Anna Cerrone. “Warming up went pretty good, but once we got out on the floor, I couldn’t tell you what happened.” Though the first competition might

The team plans to use difficult stunts to get far at state

S. Francisco/ The Bark

The Bark

Cheerleaders have high hopes for State

not have ended the way the team hoped, the girls redeemed themselves when they blew everyone away and captured the Prairie Division Championship title on Jan. 11, defeating 5 other schools. Besides making their imprint in Grant history, the team also placed 2nd in the conference crushing 12 schools. “We did amazing,” says senior Ashlee McCarten. “We did the best routine ever. We were all hurting but as soon as we stepped on that floor it all went away. “We deserve the award too because we all put so much time, effort and dedication. It feels good to see it all pay off, but we still have a while until the end of the season so we have to keep it up,” says McCarten. While the team may be on top now, the beginning of the competitive season started off rocky. “The season is going well despite some setbacks,” says Ms. Hoehne, head coach. “We have had several injuries, but we have managed to work together as a team to persevere through them. The girls have a lot of heart and determination, and we are set on performing to the best of our ability.” The team would not have gotten as far as it had if it wasn’t for the rigorous regiment the girls face. “Since football season we have been practicing six days a week in an effort to be the best that we can be,” says Hoehne. “The girls work very diligently in constantly growing stronger, both physically and mentally. Conditioning has greatly improved our endurance, stamina, our tumbling and [our] stunting skills are constantly progressing.” To make it to the state competition, not only does the team have place in the top five at sectionals, but they also needed to prove themselves and stand out from other squads. “I think that what sets us apart from other teams is our determination to try our best and just have fun,” says freshman Delanie Olsen. “We know we can’t be perfect, but if we try our best then that is what counts.” Not only does drive make the team stick out, but its ability of “mastering unique and creative stunts that other teams are unable to achieve,” says McCarten. Still, perfection is the impossible factor that judges look out for and although it may never be reached, the team seems to be constantly improving. “I have seen [the team] overcome obstacles and learn to grow from them,” says Hoehne. “They have accomplished and mastered

S. Francisco/ The Bark

Besides competitions, the cheerleaders can be found at basketball games a routine much more difficult than any they have performed, even when they were afraid that it was simply too much for them. They have learned to appreciate one another, and realize that they are truly a team.” Senior Robin Rassmusen as well sees the growing potential in the team. “Out of my four years at Grant, I’ve never seen so much talent in one squad,” says Rassmusen. “Within the past few weeks we’re come so far and really progressed in our routine.” A large aspect to how the team performs is how the girls treat one another. This issue is one that the Grant team has quickly overcome. “We have become more of a team from what we were before,” says freshman Sara Mamerow. “We’re more like family than friends.” Besides the team improving as a whole, certain individuals are standing out as well. “My four senior leaders on the competition squad are constantly striving to improve,” says Hoehne. “Jessica Mamerow has worked through injuries and is a great motivator on the squad. Robin Rasmussen has taken on a

new position and has done so with ease. Brandy Hatcher, a constant encourager of others, has grown stronger and fearless. Ashlee McCarten has worked to perfect her tumbling abilities and constantly looks to help others in tumbling.” When it is all said and done, the team owes a lot of its success to its new coach, Hoehne. “Coach Hoehne is an amazing coach,” says Cerrone. “She’s tough, but that’s good, and something we really needed. She has so much confidence in every one of us.” The girls have now experienced their share of victories and losses and now they will be putting all their effort into performing their best at the sectional competition on Jan. 31 and, if they qualify, the state competition on Feb. 6 and 7. “Our major goal would be making it to state and also being top ten in the state,” says junior Erin Horvath. “It’s our time to shine.” Other team members have slightly better expectations of the team. “We want to place top 5 at state,” says McCarten confidently. “We will definitely be able to accomplish it!”

Boys basketball team proves to be a formidable force for Division title The Grant Community High School varsity boys basketball team is about halfway through the season and they are starting to solidify that they are a Division contender. Alex Carr The team Staff Reporter has been streaky throughout the year, but Mr. Bosworth, head coach, has been pleased with the way his team is performing this year. “So far the team has been doing pretty well. There have been ups and downs as there is with anything, but overall not bad,” says Bosworth. Over Winter Break the Bulldogs played in the Grant Holiday Tournament, where they played well. The team went 3-1 in the tournament where they beat Round Lake, Richmond Burton, and Lakes. The Bulldogs only loss came to McHenry by the score of 54-41. The boys basketball team is in the thick of divisional games, and in the Prairie Division every game is a battle. With that said, the practices are starting to get even more intense. “Our coaches are pushing us 120 percent,” says junior Tommy Bronken. “With

the second half of the season being a lot tougher than the first half, practices are only getting harder.” Bosworth knows that the upcoming games will be a big challenge. “Our second half of the schedule gets much tougher than what we’ve seen so far,” says Bosworth. On Jan. 10 the Bulldogs faced rival Round Lake at home. It was a tough game but in the end the Bulldogs squeaked out a 4948 win in a classic divisional match up. That was a huge win for the Bulldogs. A loss to Round Lake could have really hurt the team’s chances at winning the Division. One unique thing about the Bulldogs this season is that there are players from every grade level on the team. While it may be a problem on some teams, that is not the case with this group of players. “Honestly, no one could really tell that there are a couple of underclassmen on the team,” says Bronken. “I think we all get along great.” While it may be a challenge for a coach to get players from all different ages to play together, that is not a problem Grant is faced with. “There’s not one selfish player on this team,” says Bosworth. “We all know there are no stars on this team. We have a bunch of solid athletes, and our best chance to win is

to have contributions from everyone.” That is also one of Bosworth’s favorite parts about coaching this team. “[The best part about coaching this team] is the group of guys we have. Just a great bunch of kids who would do anything that is asked of them,” says Bosworth. That is an impressive feat for this team that will only help them this year and for future seasons. Still, the athletes know they need to improve to stay in contention to win the Prairie Division. “[The team needs to get better at] playing 32 minutes of hard nosed basketball,” says senior Gilbert Sheehan. That is essential for the team to work on and that can be the difference when it comes down to the end of close games. Come support the Bulldogs on the road as they play North Chicago on Jan. 31.

Sheehan had to break through tough defense to take the shot

S. Francisco/ The Bark

January Bark , 2009  
January Bark , 2009  

Grant Community High School - Newspaper