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The Blazer

October 25, 2013 Volume 35, Number 2





Are you a Distracted Driver?

What’s happening in Sports?

Head to page 2 to read about the dangers of distractions on the road.

For a look at how the fall sports are going, check out page 16.

Curious about safety for students?

Go to page 5 to read some encouraging words from Officer Garcia.

Wondering how Homecoming went?

Check out a photo essay about homecoming week on pages 8 and 9.

R U Driving? Distracted driving causes a danger to students and others on the road. Kari Porter Staff Writer

Katy Perry’s latest song blares on the stereo, Facebook is sending notifications, Mom is calling, and a friend is texting about her boy troubles. This scene may be common for many teens behind the wheel. How they respond to the chaos varies in most cases. In the 21st century, distractions are all around us. Whether it is a cell phone, a loud radio or a friend in the passenger’s seat; driving is a common place where distractions can take a deadly turn. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,092 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2010 and 10 percent of those involved teens aged 15 to 19. GEHS has created an initiative to keep the school informed of the hazards presented behind the wheel, called Blazers Against Distracted Driving (BADD). BADD was started after a series of tragic accidents in the Gardner Edgerton school district. Their goal, according to senior Alex Bangert, is to limit distracted driving throughout the community and make students aware of the dangers it causes. Through the use of assemblies, awareness months and petitions they are making the school more aware of what distracted driving can cause. “The best way to make

others aware is to set an example,” Bangert said. “Don’t text and drive when you are in the car and make sure your friends aren’t as well.” BADD is beginning a campaign to warn of the dangers of distracted driving. Junior Ali Haag, a member of BADD, said they plan to create a pledge for students to sign. They will also be involved in an online contest that could win money for our school.

Distracted driving not only jeopardizes your own life, but others as well. Photo by Kari Porter.

“We try to get the message out through big signs and the announcements,” Haag said. “We want people to know about the dangers.” In Kansas, the laws are clear on distracted driving. According to the NHTSA, all forms of cell phone use, hand-held or handsfree, are illegal for drivers under the age of 18, and texting is illegal for drivers at any age in the state of Kansas. This law applies in various forms throughout the United States. Through a survey of 75 juniors and seniors in our school, it was found that about 73 percent of those surveyed choose to not text while driving and are aware of the dangers it

can bring. However, 27 percent of students admitted to being distracted behind the wheel and although the reasons varied, 90 percent of those who admitted to distracted driving said it was to inform friends of where they were or to talk to their parents. Another key to staying safe while in the car is seatbelt use. Haag explained that without seatbelts, it is much easier to be thrown from the car and suffer life-threatening injuries in the event of an accident. All but four of the students surveyed said they wear a seatbelt. In 2011 alone, the NHTSA found that 11,949 lives were saved by the use of seatbelts. Had there been 100 percent use of seatbelts, an additional 3,384 lives would have been saved. Although not always deadly, texting and driving brings many dangers that can easily be avoided, according to Bangert. “Turn off your phone or simply place it in the back seat on silent,” Haag said. “It will keep you from being tempted and could save your life.” Through the use of seatbelts and common driving precautions, lives could be saved. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that those who text while driving are four times more likely to be involved in serious accidents that could cause injuries. While it may seem tempting, it can wait. One text message is not worth the potential consequences. Next time, think before pulling out a phone or forgetting your seatbelt, and remember what could happen.

GEHS is participating in Celebrate My Drive with State Farm; between Oct. 18 and 26 and make your online pledge daily to not drive with distractions and support GEHS! • Go to • Select “Make your Commitment” • Enter email, date of birth (must be 14 yrs +), Kansas, Gardner, Affiliation, 66030 • Select “Gardner Edgerton High School” • Click “Submit” Your Pledge may help earn GEHS money to further support safe driving awareness and possibly a FREE Kelly Clarkson concert!

2 News



Work Abby Sola Staff Writer

Many students at GEHS spend after-school hours working. While the money is nice, being able to balance schoolwork versus actual work is argued to be more stressful than the job itself. Getting home late, not completing an assignment or not getting enough sleep are just some of the many challenging aspects of keeping a job during the school year. Finding a middle ground and staying there is one struggle over which most working students stress.

Top: Senior Cassie Lee works after school at Arby’s. Above: Senior Nathan Bennett spends his weekends working at Subway. Photo by Abby Sola.

Senior Cassie Lee — an employee at Arby’s — often has to close, which can go as late as 12:30 a.m. Lee balances the stress of working and school work by staying up late until the job is done. “If I close, then [I stay up past midnight] all the time,” Lee said. “I’ll get home anywhere from 8:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.” Getting home after a busy night at work and then being expected to finish homework for three or four different classes is believed to test the patience and focus of high school students. Keeping the focus and energy it takes to get an assignment done on time can be difficult to maintain when all the body wants to do is sleep. For some students, the hardest part of keeping up with their heaviest classes is the fact that work takes up so much time that could be used to make important deadlines.

“I take days off that I have [AP] classes,” junior Taylor Fitzpatrick said. “I work at Quik Trip, so I get home around 10:30 p.m. on school nights.” Everyone has their own methods of how to balance both areas of work though. Sacrificing personal downtime is necessary to get the work done if falling behind is becoming a trend. “Since I don’t work during the school week, I work 16 hours [at Subway] between Saturday and Sunday,” senior Nathan Bennett said. “[Therefore,] I don’t have time to hang out with friends.” According to senior Julia Southern, cramming to meet deadlines eats up valuable personal time, but sometimes it is a sacrifice that has to be made in order to keep priorities in line. “[I have learned to balance school work with actual work] with time management,” Southern said. “I make lists a lot.” For Southern, getting home around 8:30 p.m. every night from her job at Trails West Ace Hardware is normal, so there is still plenty of time for homework and a good night’s sleep. Going from working 40 hours a week during the summer to a mere 16 hours a week during the school year, Southern said she keeps all of her work straight by working on it in the slow hours of her shifts at work. Keeping grades up and keeping a job are just some of the pressures of today’s teens. The common trend among students interviewed showed that keeping up with school work and a job is the most challenging part of working during the school year. According to Lee, balancing the two can be a concern that high school students across the globe have to learn to cope with.

BLOCKADING the WEB believe that if students were allowed access to these blocked websites, it would cause all the distractions teachers try to avoid. Many of the students who access the blocked sites only do so to stay in the loop of what’s happening on social networks during class or to play games. “I like to see what my friends are posting [on Facebook] during school,” a senior student said, who wished to remain anonymous to avoid the penalty of abusing technology. Schrack shares that teachers are constantly observing their students and notice when they are not on the appropriate sites. She is aware that students find new ways to get past these barriers but they often get caught because a technology alert is sent out to the media

center, so Schrack can see exactly what the student is doing. “I break through the blocks

I got past the entire firewall and had as much access as any administrator in the building.

Most students at GEHS know that websites such as Facebook and YouTube are blocked on the school computers and on the school’s Wi-Fi. Although it is against district technology policy to be on these websites, according to library media specialist Robin Schrack, students in our school proceed to get past these blocked websites, even though it is highly suggested that they don’t. “It’s just a challenge,” Schrack said. “If [students] would use the energy they spend trying to get past the technology blocks in their academics, they would be better off.” According to Schrack, these websites are blocked to keep students on track and focused on their school work. Schrack said the school’s teachers

to play video games that I usually couldn’t play or to keep connected to what my friends are doing on Facebook,” an anonymous senior student said.

A W hole New World “

You get to see how other people see the world; you get to see how other people see the United States. -English teacher Julie Gillette

Many students find it hard to imagine teachers anywhere other than in their natural habitat: the classroom. However, many teachers have traveled farther from the classroom than their students have. In fact, many teachers have studied abroad during either their high school or college careers, including English teachers Julie Gillette and Kelly Peterson Miranda and Spanish teachers Terry Rynard and Ashley Gorney. Due to their personal experiences, they encouraged studying abroad and were confident that it would impact students’ lives in a positive way. “Oh my goodness, yes, [I

would recommend studying abroad]. It will change your life … and it does, it’s unbelievable,” Rynard said. Rynard studied abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca, which is located in Salamanca, Spain. She also spent time working as a translator for Doctors without Borders in Guatemala, which she found to be an interesting experience. “To this day there will be certain words that I say in Spanish, and when I say them, a whole flood of memories comes back,” Rynard said. “It brings the language alive. You realize it’s not just a list of vocabulary words and conjugations.” Ashley Gorney also studied abroad during college and

continues to travel regularly with her husband Jerad Gorney. “[My favorite aspect of traveling is] learning the culture because you can hear about it in a classroom but until you actually experience it, you don’t understand it,” Ashley Gorney said. Jerad Gorney, on a trip to Guatemala, applied for a position in a local school and was later able to tour that school.

Not all students in the school are able to or even want to bypass the technology blocks. Freshman Tristian Favinger, an example of a student who stays off thesse sites said she chooses not to because she doesnt have the time. Not all students who have access to a computer choose to spend their time on these sites. “With the high expectations this school has, [most of the time students] do what they need to do and get done,” Schrack said. Many students who can bypass the website blocks and gain access to these websites are often excited to share the news with their friend and the wealth, so others can get on their favorite websites as well, a junior said. “I got past the entire firewall

Allie Weber Staff Writer

“[The best part of traveling is] to see how other people live. It’s crazy to me,” Jerad Gorney said. “The schools down there are not as good as ours. It kind of humbles you a bit and lets you know how good we have it here.” Peterson Miranda studied abroad in England. “Now anymore, knowing another language is only going to help you, not ever hurt

Above: Spanish teacher Ashley Gorney works with kids in Guatemala. Photo courtesy of Gorney. Left: English teacher Kelly Peterson Miranda stops next to a kangaroo while on vacation in Australia with her husband. Photo courtesy of Miranda.

Alex Howard Editor-in-Chief and had as much access as any administrator in the building,” a junior student said. This student wished to remain anonymous for the reason that his actions were not discovered. Anyone who gets past the proxy servers and the filters to access the sites that are banned on the school Internet and WiFi will be punished. There is no reward or praise for breaking the rules. According to Schrack, if a student is caught on one of the blocked sites, the student’s name will be sent to principal Tim Brady and they will lose all technology access for at least two weeks. It is not suggested that students break the rules to get on these sites.

you,” Peterson Miranda said. The Gorneys understood the importance of being multilingual as well and plan to spend a summer in Guatemala in the next few years in order for their daughter to learn Spanish. Although Peterson Miranda studied in an English-speaking country, she still admitted it took some time to adjust to the new atmosphere. “Absolutely [I would recommend studying abroad]. I think it’s good to get out of your comfort zone,” Peterson Miranda said. Gillette studied abroad in high school, spending her time in Germany. She also recommended studying abroad, saying it was a highlight of her high school career. “I think that early on getting an exposure to the way different people live and the way different people think, I think that that’s all the better for you because so often we just get stuck in our little vision of things,” Gillette said, “and we think that what we’re doing is perfect and then as soon as you step outside of that you realize, ‘Oh there’s another world out there.’ Absolutely I would encourage that.”


How Does GEHS T Drama? Kracinda Mitchell Copy Editor

Q& A

with sophomore Connor Johnston Q: Did you want to be a lead? Why? A: Yeah, I’ve never done anything theater like. I thought it’d be cool. Q: Do you feel like there is more pressure on you to do better and participate more, since you are a lead character? How so? A: Yes. You have more lines and it rides on you and if stuff isn’t memorized it won’t be as good. Q: Do you have to practice more than other characters? A: Yeah cause you have more lines than others That have to be memorized by a certain time. Q: What is the best way for you to practice? A: Reading my lines over and over with someone. It’s all about repatition. Q: Do you plan on going into drama for a career? A: I want to do plays when I’m older but probably not for a full time job. Q: What does being a part of the play mean to you? A: I’ve realized that people in the theater department really care about each other and that’s awesome and means a lot to me.


who is known to procrastinate might set the whole play behind, while choosing a student who wants to be in charge of everything may create tension within the cast. There are many factors that go into deciding whether or not a play can be produced. There are not specific rules on what is allowed to be done; it is more or less a mutual decision. When organizing a school production, there are certain rules to follow for approval. Lady said, yes, there is some leniency on what type of plays can be done, but guidelines for appropriateness are essential, of which are done by the principles. First, Lady comes up with ideas about what play he would like to produce. Then, principal Tim Brady, associate principal Heather Peeke and Lady schedule a meeting to go over ideas. Even though they may agree on a play, the availability of the rights to the production also contributes to the decision. “We originally wanted to do ‘The Sound of Music’, but due to CBS doing a remake of the play with Carrie Underwood, we were unable to get rights to do it as well,” Peeke said, “so we decided on ‘Guys and Dolls.’” Legal considerations are not all that goes into making a school production. Since GEHS is the only high school in the Gardner-Edgerton area, the community attends many school events; therefore, any production the school puts on has to be entertaining and appropriate for people of all ages. “We also have to appeal to the masses,” Peeke said, “it needs to be family friendly and it never fails to do a classic that everyone knows.” Since a play requires such dedication and outside-ofschool time and the students at GEHS being determined to pull it off, it creates a very tight bond and relationship between the production team. Sophomore Connor Johnston says that how much everyone cares about each other is his favorite part.


can only select a handful to be lead roles. “Talent always plays the biggest part in casting,” Lady said, “because you need to put out the best product you can for the audience. However, I also look at past experience and past work ethic when making my decision. Sometimes you have to wing it when you have all new kids and have never seen what they do on stage.” There are other attributes that go into choosing a student for a character, Lady said. The student needs to fit the physical appearance of the character being played. A third option to be considered is previous experience. This is deciding whether or not the student has the ability to play a certain character with certain actions and particular personality aspects. The last facet in selecting students for roles is looking at their previous actions in and outside of the classroom. According to Lady, this is a big consideration because choosing a student


he elaborate sets, the extravagant costumes, the elite actors and actresses, the extraordinary stage crew, the executive directors and the exceptional audience. Put all of these things together and the outcome is not only a play, but a school production. Hoops have to be jumped through in order to produce a school play. Directors have to choose responsible and adequate students to play certain roles. Likewise, there have to be students who want to be a part of the play− not just key actors, but also a stage crew. Theater teacher Jeff Lady is the director and producer of the plays at GEHS. According to Lady, his role is to bring all of the elements of a play together to make them work as a whole. When it comes to producing a school play there are many attributes that have to be taken into consideration. According to Lady the biggest aspect is choosing character roles. Lady said he has to look at a smorgasbord of talented students but

Supportive Role Playing

Many people dream of being the lead character of a play with all attention centered around them but senior Anna Winkler sees the value in supportive role playing. According to Winkler everyone in the show has as much responsibility as a lead role because every character makes the show great. “I was excited when I got my role as a hot box dancer,” Winkler said “because I have no dancing experience and was willing to take on something I have never done before.” The debate arises of how much time and effort has to go into a production and who puts in the most time, and lead role or a supporting character. “We, [the hot box dancers], practice the full three hours of rehearsals every night we are scheduled to be there,” Winkler said. According to Winkler, she and the other hot box dancers also take time in seminar to practice.

Winkler’s most productive way of practicing is to put herself into the shoes of a hot box dancer form the 1920’s, this also helps her get into character. “[The responsibilities that come with my role are] learning the dances and being able to get the timing right with the turns,” Winkler said. According to Winkler, if one aspect of the play was taken out then it would be complete chaos and the show would not be good because it would be unorganized and no one would know what to work for as an end result.

Above: The choir rehearses the songs of the musical assuring memorization and harmony. Left: The nuns of the musical stand at attention awaiting their cue to appear on scene. Bellow: Kevin Medlin and Cooper McGuire mingle between schedule rehearsals. Since rehearsals are split into two parts every night everyone could of used some relaxation.

Prepared for College The ACT is an achievement test used to measure what a student has learned from first through 12th grade. The ACT has up to five components: English, math, reading, science, and an optional writing test. According to, colleges use the results of the test to determine readiness for college, course placement and scholarships. Students should take the ACT after taking certain core classes, including Algebra ll and Chemistry. Senior Tori Shephard has taken the ACT three times and has already been accepted to the University of Iowa, where she would like to major in biomedical engineering. “It allows students to prove themselves to the college of their choice,” Shephard said, “and be rewarded for scholastic achievements.” It could be beneficial to complete a course like ACT Prep before taking the test. The ACT is often required for admission to


a four year college or university, according to counselor Melissa McIntire. It can sometimes earn test-takers merit scholarships. Students who are planning on attending a four-year college after their first year out of high school would be candidates

Tyler Lowes looks at KU’s website in the ACT prep class. Photo by Alex Howard.

to take the test, McIntire said. The ACT Prep course helps with achieving the test taking skills necessary for the test. ACT Prep is taught by two teachers (students switch teachers for each quarter): Julie Gillette for English and reading and Stephanie Shephard for math and science. “[Students] will learn test

chool ecurity

There are many concerns for which schools have to take precaution. One of the biggest concerns in schools today is school safety. With the stories in the news lately about shootings at schools, it forces our teachers and staff to take precautions to make schools as safe as possible. School safety has been brought to the forefront of students’ and teachers’ minds. According to CNN News, devastation struck Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14 with the Sandy Hook shooting. Classes were under way at the school, and approximately 700 students were present. Out of the 700 students, 20 students, ages 6 and 7, and six adults were killed at the school. This event made officers and faculty look deeper into making

schools as safe as possible. More recently, on Sept. 16, a shooting at a Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. left 12 dead. “It just makes me wonder what would happen if an event like that happened at GEHS,” sophomore Taylor Stewart said. “[I am concerned] about my peers’ safety.”

Bailey Prigel Staff Writer

taking strategies,” Shephard said, “and then review math concepts that range from Algebra II to Trigonometry.” Gillette reviews English and reading concepts such as parts of speech, as well as test taking skills for reading passages. Another important test, especially for students interested in a coastal school, is the SAT, an aptitude test, which tests reasoning and verbal abilities. Unlike the ACT, the SAT only has three components: critical thinking, mathematics, and a required writing test. It is also used to determine college readiness, placement and possible scholarships. “It is very important that students research the college they are interested in to find out if an SAT or ACT score is required,” McIntire said. “Each school has their own distinct application and testing deadlines.” Not all colleges require an ACT or SAT for admission, especially if a student has completed a General Admissions Curriculum

Jenna Goetzmann Staff Writer

Anthony Garcia, School Resource Officer (SRO), said he worries the most about another event like Sandy Hook taking place in a USD 231 school. The reason he worries so much is because events like these are getting more and more popular, Garcia said. “Sandy Hook changed

AcCepTance Colleges and universities have minimum ACT composite scores that need to be met in order to be accepted into the school.

Universities Composite Baker University 21 Emporia State University


Fort Hays State University


Kansas State University

21 20

Pittsburg State University


University of Kansas


Washburn University


Wichita State Univeresity


*Information from the counseling office and the respective schools’ admissions websites.

for a desired college, but a score can help students with more promising admissions as well as scholarships. If interested in going to a four-year college when fresh out of high school, everything about school safety,” Garcia said. After this shooting, people really took a deeper look into school safety and how we can keep our students safe. Other teachers worry about the right way to protect their students if an

No one messes with my kids. -SRO Anthony Garcia

event like this happened. “[I worry about] being put in that situation and not being able to protect my students,” math teacher Emily Basham said. Basham said one way she protects students is to keep a positive classroom environment, so nobody feels unsafe in her classroom. “When I walk around school, SRO Anthony Garcia poses by his police car. photo courtesy of Ryan Fulks.

MidAmerica Nazarene University

A C T i n g

McIntire recommended talking to students’ given counselor or McIntire about schools of interest and whether or not an ACT or SAT score is required for admission. I feel that all of the teachers are very concerned about their students, they’re not just here for the teaching,” senior Michaela Serrioz said. The school also has a plan if an event like this were to happen. Faculty, staff and students have to practice lockdown drills, so teachers and students are prepared. Here at GEHS, our faculty and staff are finding new and improved ways to protect the school and our students. About two weeks ago, Garcia attended a conference about protecting schools, and what to do if you’re put in that situation. The purpose of this conference was to ensure that school policies are up to date. “Helping each other survive is our best bet,” Garcia said. “We need to empower students and staff to protect themselves. “We have to stop the threat, which means we have to be the first responder. No one messes with my kids.”


Ghosts to Girls

Starla Stephens

To have a good Halloween you will need a dash of scary movies, a sprinkle of haunted houses, and a large dose of costumes.

The best scary movie is “Mama” because it was nerve-wracking. “‘The Blair Witch Project’ is the worst scary movie because I could not get past the lack of a plot and it just seemed really fake,” junior Justin Scheck said. Haunted Houses consist of actors in buildings hiding everywhere trying to give you the fright of your life. The actors will shriek and act out roles. Normally, there are multiple corridors in

The Sound of Music

You are sitting in your room doing homework; you grab your iPod and open up Pandora, turning up the volume to full blast. Many students enjoy listening to music while working, but others get distracted if there is background music — listening to the lyrics and hearing the noise gets their mind off track. “It’s a proven fact that people cannot multi-task,” English teacher Bobbi Schumacher said. “I believe students need to focus on what is being instructed at that point in time.” Many students cannot focus on their schoolwork if music is playing, and songs can be a huge distraction. If the music is loud,


then most people would not be able to concentrate on the homework in front of them. Also, many people have to switch back and forth between homework and music to pause, turn up the volume or skip the songs, which,

Many students use Pandora as their source for music. Photo by Sydni Haen.

when added up, takes away a lot of time from work. “Teachers don’t allow music because it’s a distraction,” senior Mirage Phetsany said. “You could get off task.” Others, like senior Savanah McDaniel, said music helps keep people focused and helps them work. “For me listening to music blocks out distractions and improves my mood. Music motivates me,” McDaniel said. “If I am able to control the type of music, then it helps me focus.” The type of music you listen to while working can affect how well you work. If it is a music genre you do not like, then it is not going to benefit you. “Personally it helps me

rather than provocatively because of our judgmental society. Society can destroy someone’s feelings or it can boost their confidence depending on what a girl wears on Halloween. “[Teenage girls wear provocative costumes because it] gives them a chance to step out of their natural selves,” debate teacher Mike Zegers said. Girls just want to be someone else one night of the year where they will not get judged and get sucked into a bad reputation. Although Halloween costumes can be adorable, some can be dangerous. If all girls’ costumes were risqué, then they could get harassed. “If girls all dressed provocatively on Halloween, then they could get kidnapped and hurt,” Weekly said. From trick-or-treating to traditions, this holiday can be a trick or a treat. Fearful movies, haunted houses, and plenty of costumes make up the recipe we call Halloween.

What is


to you?

It’s a time to be who I want to be for a night and explore who I am, sophomore Ally Rodriguez said.

“ “

Halloween is a time for me to go out and have fun and get free candy, senior Jake Weekly said.

It means to me a coming together of America to have fun and be themselves for one day, junior Justin Scheck said.

Gardner-Edgerton communities are getting into the Halloween spirit. Photo by Starla Stephens.

the house, therefore you can easily get lost in a maze of fright. The Edge of Hell is my favorite haunted house because of the amount of effort the actors put in to startle their audience. “The scariest haunted house I have been to was a local one I took part in. It was scary because the makeup [we used] was very realistic and the space was limited [so we could scare them more],” Scheck said. A good haunted house is realistic. It is usually in a rather large space providing extra room to scare the audience. “Some haunted houses are large and some are small, but any good haunted house has a lot of corridors,” Scheck said. From conservative to provocative costumes, teenagers and some adults will dress up in their costumes that allow them to be who they want for one night of the year. Kids will dress up like lady bugs while teenagers may choose to dress less conservatively. Girls should dress as young ladies

horrify the audience otherwise the viewer is not satisfied with the movie. An audience is more attracted to a movie that is more realistic than one that is bogus.

Halloween is a representation of rich multicultural influences and a blend of imagination. Trick-or-Treating is a widespread tradition in America on the night of Halloween, which celebrates the assortment of culture in our country. It is a time for kids, teens and adults to watch scary movies, go to haunted houses and dress up in costumes. Scary movies consist of gory, horrific scenes that reel the viewer in. Favorite movies range from gory to nauseating. “My favorite scary movie is ‘The Shining’ because it is twisted,” sophomore Ally Rodriguez said. Some movies attract the viewer because of the not-soscary situations in the movie. Movies with a funny side to the situation always have reeled me in because I am not going to be screaming the entire movie. “‘The Army of Darkness’ [is the scariest movie] because it has a great comical aspect along with horror,” senior Jake Weekly said. Horror movies must actually

Staff Writer

Sydni Haen Staff Writer

“Personally it helps me get focused on whatever I’m working on. Quiet music keeps me on track,” senior Taylor Browning said, “but when it gets louder or it’s a song I love, I get a little distracted.” According to UNC Charlotte and University City, studies have shown that the right kind of music can help you relax your mind, which enables you to concentrate better. Music, for me, blocks out the outside noise and actually helps me study. It cuts down on distractions and helps you focus on your work. For some students even though listening to music can be a distraction, often times it is what keeps students focused and would be helpful during study time in class or at home.

Above: Junior Jordan Jolly shows his ability to listen to music and work on homework. Photo by Sydni Haen. Top: Social studies teacher Andy Weber plays music from an iPod in class. Photo by Alex Howard.


What Would Change? Lauren Stephenson Staff Writer Gardner Edgerton High School is ranked the sixth best high school in the state of Kansas, according to 2013 News and World Report. The multipurpose activities center is currently being built and there have been several other changes made as well. According to some students though, there are still many changes that could be made to further improve GEHS. “I don’t really like the manic days that we have. I just feel like we have so many classes and it gets overwhelming,” freshman Tanner Oehm said. Oehm also

The Good, The Bad, There’s always an iconic figure in sports, whether it is a player or a coach. According to, one of the greatest coaches and one of the most iconic sports figures of all time, John Wooden, can be recognized by his 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball championships in just 12 years, or by his incredibly inspirational quotes. “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one gets the credit,” said Wooden. Although not nationally known, high school coaches can be iconic in their own right. Coaching strategies is one of the key aspects of a good coach. Boys soccer coach Andy Weber said, “My coaching strategies involve developing positive culture and atmosphere, quickly assessing individual strengths and weaknesses, and giving heavy instruction on tactics and techniques.” If a coach doesn’t assert

said he would like it if there were more architecture classes available. “I think we should have a little bit more variety in the foreign language department,” junior Austin Bettes said. He stated that it would be beneficial if more foreign languages besides Spanish and French were available. Along with more classes, some people are also asking for more clubs. To create a new club, there needs to be at least three or four students who want to make it and they need to get a teacher approval. They also need to have a sponsor. “There are a lot of kids who do Rubik’s Cube stuff, so we need a club for that. We also need a computer club for people who

like to do things on the computer, like [playing] Minecraft,” Bettes said. “[Activities and sports I wish we had are] fighting, like martial arts, cage fighting, boxing, kick boxing,” sophomore Guy Cauthon said. Combat is not the only type of activity students have been asking for. “It’d be cool if we had a lacrosse team,” senior Klayton Ranz said. Federal law requires all students except seniors to attend a minimum of 186 days of school, while seniors are required to attend school for 181 days. This cannot be changed by students, but when asked about how long the school year should be there were a variety of answers. “Maybe like half a month to a month a year,” Oehm said. On the opposite end of the spectrum, “I would probably make it all year, just with a lot more breaks in between. Studies show that in other places of the world that do have all year long school, it does help them learn a lot better,” Bettes said. Another issue some teens say

Dylan Schultz Staff Writer

himself to his team, or even act like he cares, the team will not

Above: Government teacher and head tennis coach Derrick Abromeit coaches senior Brooklyn Kiosow during tennis practice. Photo by Jenna Goetzmann.

be very successful or have very much respect for the coach. “[A bad coach is] indifferent; they focus too much on winning and not teaching,” bowling

coach Mike Zegers said. Another aspect within coaching strategies is a personal connection with the players. But if a coach gets too close to his players, often times there is some criticism received. “There is a line you have to keep,” track and field coach Brian McGee said. “It’s okay to be the positive role model and to send encouraging texts. It’s also okay to give the athlete their space too.” Along with personal connections, comes treatment of players. One way coaches can turn their own players against them is to yell for no reason. “In high school, you have to be more careful with your players because they are kids,” Zegers said. “[Coaches should not] yell at a kid or get in their face.” Coaches will also not be successful if the team doubts the coach in any way. Coaches often

GEHS has is the dress code. “We don’t need any more changes [to the dress code], just more enforcement on it,” Bettes said. The rule teenage girls are supposed to follow for shorts is that they cannot be any shorter than above their fingertips. “[If I could change anything about the dress code I would] make the girls wear longer shorts to school,” Cauthon said. Not all of the students are concerned about the dress code. “I think it’s fine. I wouldn’t change anything about it,” junior Jordan Eubanks said. GEHS students are required to attend pep assemblies, but some of them dislike having to go to all of them. “I wish they could be optional, because really sometimes, people have a lot of homework or they don’t like that crowded atmosphere. I feel like if they want to stay back during seminar and do work or something, then I would let them do that,” Cauthon said. Despite the minor changes some students wish could be

made to GEHS, many students said there is plenty to like about the school as well. “[My favorite aspect about the high school so far is] that we don’t have to go to every class every day,” Oehm said. Every year GEHS changes in some way, whether it be in the variety of kids who go there, rules and regulations, or bringing in new ideas to help improve the overall quality of the high school. Some kids are satisfied with the way things are going, while others are still anxiously awaiting further improvement. Whatever the case, GEHS is an ever changing place where thousands of kids will go to spend, and possibly enjoy, their high school career.

open up their first season with a quick description of who they are, many times in attempt to earn respect from his/her players. “[A bad coach is] one in which doesn’t have his players respect,” senior baseball player Brett Wolford said. “If a coach sounds like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he won’t be respected.” If a coach does not have the team’s respect, they will not listen, and focus will be lost. When a coach accepts his role, it is assumed that he knows his content. Sometimes, this is not the case. Another important aspect is how to handle slumping players. All athletes know that they cannot be successful 100 percent of the time. “[If a player is in a slump,] it is important to talk to them,” McGee said. “It’s important because poor performance can happen because they’re trying too hard. It helps to have them step away from the activity and do something else for a while.” Positive team atmosphere

is also important. If a coach is constantly bringing down his players by yelling, or always being mad, his team will not be successful. “Team chemistry is crucial,” Weber said. “I try to accentuate positive role models and make effort to avoid negative leadership.” Composure is also of importance. If a coach is blatantly nervous or uptight, it reflects off of his players. “I prefer coaches to stay calm,” Wolford said. “[In a big situation, coaches need to] act like they’ve been there before. They need to have composure and let the team know they need to play within themselves and stay calm. Players feed off of a coach’s emotion. When a coach is happy, players are happy.” As leaders of the team, players have high expectations for their coaches. The best ones are the ones that use all of these aspects of strategies properly, while the worst ones fail to do so.

Many seniors are counting down the days until graduation. Photo by Lauren Stephenson

Opinion 7

GE Homecoming HS Spirit Gets Into the

Madison Reed Web Editor


2 7 5











14 1. Senior cheer captain Rebecca Wehmeier cheers at the homecoming pep assembly. The assembly featured performances from the cheerleaders, dance team and the Homecoming candidates. Photo by: Madison Reed 2. Seniors Brett Goetzmann and Alex Bangert receive their crowns for Homecoming. Voting for Homecoming took place on Oct. 10. Photo by: Kinsley Buller 3. Junior Lucas Allen dances at the Homecoming dance. The Homecoming dance took place on Oct. 12. Photo by: Madison Reed 4. Government teacher Derrick Abromeit sports his outfit for abnormal formal day during spirit week. Students and staff all took part in the various themes for spirit week. Photo by: Alexandria Howard 5. Chemistry teacher Kate Parker and paraprofessional Yolanda Louderback their school spirit on Pajama Day. Pajama day took place on Oct. 7. Photo by: Alexandria Howard 6. Seniors Jake Weekly and Nathan David enjoy their time at Homecoming. 580 students attended the annual Homecoming dance. Photo by: Madison Reed





7. Senior Rachael Bovitz carries the football during the Powderpuff football game. The seniors toppled the juniors 30-20. Photo by: Jenna Goetzmann 8. The Homecoming candidates pose for the camera. Alex Bangert and Brett Goetzmann were crowned as King and Queen on Oct. 11. Photo by: Alexandria Howard 9. Junior Christian Herndon cheers during the Powderpuff game. Girls were the football team, while the boys made up the dance team and the cheerleaders on Oct. 9. Photo by: Madison Reed 10. Junior Jordan Jolly enters the Homecoming dance. The dance was a huge success with many students in attendance. Photo by: Madison Reed 11. The senior Powderpuff team storms the field after their victory over the juniors. The seniors won the game 30-20. Photo by: Madison Reed 12. Members of the Powderpuff dance team perform and the Powderpuff game on Oct. 9. The Powderpuff dance team performed at both the game and the pep assembly on Oct. 11. Photo by: Jenna Goetzmann 13. Junior Cooper McGuire performs a stunt at the

Powderpuff game. Boys and girls, juniors and seniors were involved in the Powderpuff game. Photo by: Madison Reed 14. Junior Morgan Wheeler links arms and sings the alma mater during the pep assembly on Oct. 11. The Pep assembly brought all GEHS students together to raise school spirit. Photo by: Madison Reed 15. Junior Sydney Adams cheers during the pep assembly on Oct. 11. Both the varsity cheerleaders and the freshman cheerleaders performed at the pep assembly. Photo by: Madison Reed 16. Seniors Gine’ Harden and Angel Carlis strut into the Homecoming dance on Oct. 12. The dance started at 9 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m. 17. Senior Aly Daniels sprints with the football during the Powderpuff game on Oct. 9. Daniels carried the ball for yardage several times. Photo by: Jenna Goetzmann 18. Senior Brittany Alsup performs during the pep assembly on Oct. 11. The Blazerettes performed at the Powderpuff game as well as the pep assembly. Photo by: Madison Reed


Girls of Fall Powderpuff has been a tradition here at GEHS for the last few years. While the guys prepared to play under the lights every Friday night, the girls got their opportunity to show what they could bring to the field Oct. 9. Preparing two weeks in advance, the girls trained to be the best they could be. Some of the girls already

knew in advance what position they wanted to play. Junior Allison Koelzer wanted to be one of the primary positions. “[I play] running back and wide receiver,” Koelzer said. “[Sometimes] even a defensive back. [I was] happy where ever the coaches put me as long as I am a big part of the team.” Junior Carly Graceffa shows her enthusiasm for the game. “I’m excited to get a cool T-shirt and also just to play football,” Graceffa said. “It’s not every day that a girl gets to play football like the guys.” Each player got to pick the name that they wanted on the back of their shirts. Kessler believed she had one of the funniest nicknames on the back of her shirt. “Well my nickname is sixpack-abs. I like it because it goes with my name, being Abby,” Kessler said. The seniors have won almost

every year since the tradition started, only a few years have the juniors prevailed. Junior coach Trae Henderson said the one thing he would change is seniors always winning. “[I think] that it is rigged and only seniors win every year,” Henderson said. Senior Abby Kessler predicts a win for the seniors. “I believed we would probably win big. ” Kessler said. Senior coach Brett Goetzmann said he wished the volleyball players would be allowed to play in the powderpuff game. “I think some of them could greatly help out the team,” Goetzmann said. To support the lady blazer powderpuff teams, boys signed up to be cheerleaders and dancers for their team. “[I did cheer] to show Miss Zahner that I have the talent to be a cheerleader even though

I am not a girl,” senior Levi Kerr said. While the cheerleaders are cheering on their team, the dancers showing off skills of their own. “I’ve joined the powderpuff dance team since freshman year, so I just wanted to continue,” junior Chad Enright said. While the boys cheered and danced the game away, the juniors and seniors came to play. Trampling over the juniors, the seniors won by a score of 3020. Taylor Claybon scored three touchdowns and and Ali Daniels scored one for the seniors, helping them with their victory over the junior class girls.

Above: Athletic Director Kent Glaser gets all of the players and coaches as he explains the rules of the game. Photo by: Jenna Goetzmann. Left: Junior coaches Tanner Hughes and Jacob Beckner jump to celebrate a touchdown. Photo by: Jenna Goetmann

Kyle Stubler Photo Editor



30 Juniors 20

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Entertainment 10

All for One Cause Brittney Orwick

Staff Writer

SMA Race ‘N’ Roll was held Oct. 5 at Bishop Miege, to benefit kids who suffer from a deteriorated muscle disease. Friends, families and other volunteers participated in a one mile walk and 5K run around the streets of Roeland Park, Kan. People in our community have been participating in Race ‘N’ Roll for nine years, and most began because history teacher Walt Cochran’s daughter, Lindsay Cochran, is diagnosed with SMA. “Hanging out with the students from the high school and her friends from her school make her feel good,” Cochran said. “She loves seeing all of the

kids who support her.” Race ‘N’ Roll got its name because the kids with SMA roll in a wheelchair roll, and friends, families and participants race. “We typically try to raise $30,000-50,000 each year,” Cochran said. “Lindsay typically raises $2,000” Prizion printing, Pepsi and local businesses were some of the sponsors for Race ‘N’ Roll. Also, students who were in Natural Helpers volunteered at the race. Junior Aubrie Stricker helped set up, stood along the track and cheered people on. Stricker enjoyed seeing all the people participating because it makes her feel good. “I enjoy seeing all the SMA kids happy,” she said. Stricker said she helps because she simply likes helping

the community. “[It brings] families and communities together for a good cause,” Cochran said, “but my absolute favorite thing is seeing my students come out and support my family truly means a lot to me.” If Cochran were to describe Race ‘N’ Roll in one word it would

“5Ks are longer than cross country races,” Daniels said. “It allows me to see how far I can truly push myself.” Every 5K that people participate in benefits something or someone.

Continues Check out page 6 for a little insight about a few Halloween aspects.


Oct. 31

Above: Lindsay Cochran and her friend participate in the ‘roll’ of the SMA Race ‘N’ Roll Oct. 5. Photo by Maddy Sylva.

5K Facts 1. A 5K is 3.1 miles. 2. There are multiple oppertunities to participate in 5Ks!

From left to right, Taylor Finell, Aaliyah Cohen, Lindsey Posillico, Mirage Phetsany, Nicole Sperling and Nicole’s older sister and two nieces. Photos courtesy of Lindsay Posillico.

The Countdown 6Halloween

Making Running Fun There are many local 5K runs, such as, Glo run, Color Run, and Polar Plunge. “Glo run is my all-time favorite run,” sophomore Miranda Tenove said. “It’s interesting to see people dress up and just have fun while doing something for a good cause.” Tenove and senior Aly Daniels said they both typically run with their cross country teammates. Tenove said that it physically builds her endurance and mentally makes her feel as if she has achieved something. “I like running at 5Ks because they are a medium distance-not too short and not too long,” Tenove said. Although she chose which marathons in which to participate based off if they interested her, senior Aly Daniels said she likes to do 5K runs because they support a cause. She compared 5Ks to cross country.

but about how many people come on a Saturday morning to participate.” All the money that was raised went to help find a cure for SMA.

be “amazing.” “I’m always amazed about how much support friends and families have for the kids who have SMA”, Cochran said. “Not amazed by how much we raise

Check out page 4 for a special feature on the fall musical.



Guys and Dolls Nov. 19




Nov. 23


5. They’re not just for pros.


Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 27

3. They support all kinds of causes. 4. They have all sorts of themes.

Check out the next issue of The Blazer to read about Mr. GEHS and the contestants.


Check out the next issue for Thanksgiving food ideas and recipies.


Thanksgiving Nov. 28

drawings by Ali Haag




Are reality shows like Teen Mom or 16 and Pregnant helping to show the struggles of teen pregnancy, or causing it? Shelby Simpson Editor-in-Chief

MTV’s reality show “Teen Mom”, a spin-off of “16 and Pregnant”, portrays a variety of teenagers whose lives are shaken when they find out they are going to have a baby. These young kids have to finish school, pay for new expenses, and try to maintain healthy relationships with the fathers and their family members, along with taking care of a newborn. Viewers see everything from the diaper changing to the fights between the parents. The topic of teen pregnancy is very controversial. When the show first aired the producers were harshly criticized. According to ”Today Entertainment”, producers defended their decision to put a spotlight on the issue and claimed the show would prevent more young girls from getting pregnant if they saw what it was really like to be a teenage mother. In the show’s early years MTV strove to keep the message strong: an unplanned teen pregnancy will bring heartache and make getting an education extremely difficult, if not impossible. Some could argue that the reality show demonstrates the struggles of being a young parent and discourages the choice of unprotected sex early in life. But other viewers could argue that the attention, publicity, and money the moms and dads receive for being on the show glorifies the decisions they have made and makes them famous for these decisions.

12 Opinion

People who think that the show is more of a prevention campaign can argue that the way pregnancy and parenthood are shown throughout the seasons is not glorified or glamorous, but brutally honest. According to a survey from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, out of 1,008 kids from ages 12 to 19 who have watched “16 & Pregnant”, 82 percent believe the show helps them and other teens grasp the real obstacles of teen pregnancy as well as becoming a parent. These documentary series tell the honest, unpleasant truth of teen pregnancy in America. It’s not sugar coated and every girl on the show does not end up happy with the perfect family and dream career that she planned out in her head. There is no fairytale ending. In a 2011 interview with CNN about why she created “16 and Pregnant”, Senior VP of the series Lauren Dolgen said, “These young women struggle to make ends meet. They make mistakes as they try to navigate an adult life too soon. Relationships with their partners, parents and friends often crumble, and the pressure of raising a child is often too much to bear.” On the other side, some may say that the popularity of this show can lead teenagers to believe that if they become pregnant they could become famous and be on magazines like the young moms and dads on MTV. Some viewers say that TV is just a scapegoat for all of society’s problems. The media’s interest of the stars grew as the show became more popular. The moms

started to appear on the covers of magazines like “Us,” “Ok!” and even “People.” As the media’s obsession grew, so did the digits on these young mother’s paychecks. The struggle of scrounging for money to buy diapers and formula now turned into an easy task. Moms started to split their money and spend it on other “necessities” such as breast implants, houses and luxury cars. According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the pilot episode for “16 and Pregnant” had 2.1 million viewers. Months later, the season finale brought 3.6 million viewers. The message taken away from the show strictly depends on what the viewer believes in. For me, the show is not drastically preventing or promoting unplanned pregnancy. I believe that these MTV shows are leaning more toward ridiculous. These teens have more important things to worry about rather than what to say when the camera is on them. The amounts of money they receive are realistic. They need to learn to work hard and provide for their child. The only reason I watch the show is because of the drama and honestly just to get a good laugh when the parents fight over ludicrous topics. The amount of money that the teens recieve from being on the show is very unrealistic. Regardless, the show has lost its original message and has little to no hope of gaining it back. Above Right: Seniors Tristan Keck and Alexis Marshall model the Empathy Bellies that students wear in Family Studies. Students were not required to wear the Empathy Belly, but some chose, with parent permission, to wear it during school.

Educating GEHS According to family studies teacher Shelley Valvero, shows like “Teen Mom” create an unrealistic picture for teen parents and glamorize it. MTV provides these new parents with a large income for being on the show that most teen parents would not have. On the flip side, it does show the struggle in balancing school work, relationships with their own parents, and having a baby which is realistic. “There has definitely been a spike in teen pregnancy,” Valvero said. “It could be from the show but could also just be because society is more accepting of teen parents.” Students at GEHS that take the family studies class can expect to learn how to build a healthy relationship through good communication, striving to succeed as a unit and meeting desired needs or wants. In the family studies class, students can take home a baby that cries, has to have its diaper changed and has to be fed. The student wears a bracelet with a sensor that correlates with the baby, and whenever the baby cries, the student must touch sensor to sensor to show that they are the mother and then must figure out what the baby needs. “At first taking the baby home was really fun,” senior Tristan Keck said. “But after a few days it started to become stressful because it woke me up all the time.” The purpose of family studies is to educate students how to build a solid relationship in a healthy way. It is not telling students that one way or another way is wrong. But if a situation were to come up, the student is educated and prepared to handle it in a responsible and mature way.

Back In Time

with my wife,” Science teacher Jerad Gorney. He attended Great Bend High School and met his future wife, Ashley Gorney. Such major events that took place also taught important lessons. “Competing for sub-state for softball and basketball [was the largest event in my high school career],” Black said. “I

Take a step back in time and take a look at the high school experiences of GEHS teachers Michael Zegers, Megan Black, Bobbi Schumacher and Jerad Gorney.


igh school is a time to grow into the shoes that were always too big. The GEHS teachers all went through the course of high school as well. They had experiences that helped them understand the meaning of failure and success. As students, they were able to find what interested them.


“[Stereotypically], I would have probably been in the middle. Not a jock or anything. [A] Fine-Artsy [kind of student],” debate and forensics teacher Michael Zegers said. There will always be the cliché social groups no matter what era it is. Zegers explored different groups and found that he was most comfortable with the fine arts. He attended Aquinas High School and continued to enroll heavily in classes and activities he enjoyed. English teacher Bobbi Schumacher participated in school clubs during her time in high school. “I was in a club called K-teens, which was a service club. I was also in spirit club,” Schumacher said. Schumacher was involved in helping the community as well at her school. She most enjoyed an event at her high school called the Senior Dinner Dance. Schumacher described it as the senior’s last, fun hurrah for their class. Being an active part of high school is what made it enjoyable for her.

Spanish teacher Megan Black attended Olathe South High School. Joining the teams and organizations at the school, provided an opportunity for her to connect with others on a deeper level. “I was a member of the softball and basketball team, and a member of NHS,” Black said. Schools try to offer a variety of extracurricular activities for students. Both Zegers and Black were able to explore different activities to see how they enjoyed them. “I did forensics [and] theatre [throughout high school],” Zegers said. ”My freshman year, I tried athletic stuff but it wasn’t for me. My theatre teacher [changed my life], helped me like [the fine arts] and pursue it as a career.” During his high school career, Zegers met people that impacted his life; his theatre teacher widely influenced his choice of a career. Zegers’ teacher helped him shape his identity and find what he truly loved to do. These are memories he can look back on and smile. “My favorite memory of high school was going on the first date


some of the craziest clothing and hairstyles of their time. As well as discovering what should and should not be brought back in style. “I don’t think I would change anything [about my high school experience],” Black said. “Any mistakes you make, you learn from and become a better person.” High school is also a time for students to make mistakes and embarrass themselves. It is an opportunity to grow up and see the world in a different way. “[I have] no regrets. I was who I was, I am who I am and you can’t change it anyways,” Schumacher said. Black and Schumacher are both satisfied with how their experience was. It was an important part of their life that helped shape their identity and who they would become. “Like everyone else, I’ve grown up and matured,” Black said. “For the most part, I’m still the same person I was in high school.” Black said that high school is a chance for students to find who they can become as they mature into adults. What students do in high school can affect them for the rest of their lives.


had to work together with my team. You really had to dig deep to find what you’re made of.” Looking back at her high school career, Black found participating on a team was a major teaching tool for her. This time period not only helped with gaining experiences, but also finding how to present themselves; through fashion. “This was the early seventies, [during my high school], short skirts and psychedelic colors [was the worst fashion trend of the time],” Schumacher said. From crazy hair to outrageous shoes, is what many of today’s adults, can say they survived or even wore during their high school days. “The worst fashion trend... [the boys wore] jeans and t-shirts. The girls stopped wearing poufy hair. It was the nineties and guys didn’t start sagging their pants yet, but some guys had spiky hair,” Gorney said. During their high school career is when Schumacher and Gorney saw


“I always knew who I wanted to be. I learned I never have to conform to what other people wanted me to be,” Schumacher said. Overall Black, Schumacher, Gorney and Zegers found that high school is an important teaching tool for helping them become adults. Zegers said that after students graduate, they will be talking about their high school career for the rest of their lives and looking back on the good times they had. “Enjoy high school while you’re here because it goes by very quickly,” Zegers said.

Kenna Douglass Copy Editor

What was your most embarrassing moment in high school? “It was during musical practice. I was on top of a ladder. Someone asked me a question and I came halfway down. I thought I was at the bottom [of the ladder] and stepped off [and fell to the bottom].” -Michael Zegers “There was this one time I was in Madrigals and I missed a performance. I had to stand up in front of the whole class and explain why I was gone and apologize.” -Jerad Gorney 1. Michael Zegers performs in a play during his junior year of high school. Photo courtesy of Michael Zegers. 2. Mallory Arends (right) poses for a photo during her high school dance. Photo courtesy of Mallory Arends

3. Megan Black pitches while playing on her softball team. Photo courtesy of Megan Black 4. Mallory Arends smiles for the camera in her high school cheerleading uniform. Photo courtesy of Mallory Arends.


GEHS gets Social with FCCLA! What is FCCLA? Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. It is a national student organization that helps students become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues.

Why should you Join?

You will meet new people, make new friends, achieve life experiences, build leadership skills and it looks great on a college application!

“Friend� us on Schoology by searching FCCLA. Sign up for reminders by texting @gehsfccla to (385) 282-6409. Follow us on Twitter @GEHSFCCLA

Congratulations GEHS Homecoming 2013

King and Queen

Brett Goetzmann & Alex Bangert


Interested in advertising through


Blazer ? For more information, please contact:

Gardner Edgerton High School Journalism Adviser: Diana Klote 425 N. Waverly Gardner, KS 66030 (913) 856 - 2640

Re a c h i n g H i s G o a l s

Since the age of four, senior Andrew Dittemore was introduced to the world of soccer. With it being a family sport, he fell right into place. Dittemore’s older siblings both played soccer; Megan played at Linden Wood University. Dittemore is currently the goalie for Sporting KC U18, a club soccer team. Sporting KC is in a conference with teams from Colorado, Florida, and Texas which means the team is often flying to games. Their local games are played at Swope Park in Kansas City. “I attend most of his games at home and his father, Dave, attends most of the out of state games,” Janet Dittemore, Andrew’s mom, said. Sometimes kids just need to be alone or with someone different and playing soccer is his way of feeling free. “I have been playing soccer since I was a kid and it is my way of getting away from other aspects of life, helps clear my mind, and feels refreshing,” Dittemore said. Starting sophomore year, when Sporting KC U18 went to a 10-month playing schedule, Dittemore decided to take a chance and try out. He made the team, and plays for them. Because he is too busy with Sporting KC’s schedule, Dittemore no longer plays for the Blazer’s soccer team like he did his freshman and sophomore year. He misses playing with his friends and the atmosphere of playing for the school especially becasue, according

to Dittemore, the support for the GEHS soccer team is unbelievable this year. Dittemore he never really chose the position of goalie, it just came to him. “Whenever I was younger I switched back between goalie and the field and goalie was the spot for me,” Dittemore said. Being a goalie has its ups and downs. When he saves a goal he is relieved, but if he gets scored on he is frustrated either with himself or his teammates. “It can be tough to watch games because Andrew is the goalie and as his mom, I feel for him when a goal is scored against him,” Mrs. Dittemore said. “I have enjoyed watching Andrew play soccer for the last 13 years. His skill set is amazing and I am always impressed that he plays at such a high level.” Being a student athlete can be difficult. Having homework and practice creates a dilemma. Athletes get home from prac tice

late at night, and then still

have homework to do. By the time they go to bed, they do not get enough sleep. Dittemore has an hour drive to practice every day which means he does not get home until around 7pm and on good days he does not get his homework done until around nine. According to Dittemore it affects the classes he chooses because it is very hard to juggle practice and school work. “Having practice every week makes it tough to balance

school while it is soccer season,” Dittemore said. Although soccer can be difficult, Dittemore has some good memories. “My most memorable moment is beating Real Salt Lake in front of more college coaches than I’ve ever seen at one place at the same time,” Dittemore said. Dittemore has verbally committed to Missouri State University to continue his soccer career.

Abby Buie Staff Writer

Top, senior Andrew Dittemore shows how he played soccer when he was younger. Bottom, Dittemore flashes a smile for the camera while showing his Sporting KC pride. He has been playing for this team since his sophomore year. Photos courtesy of Andrew Dittemore.

Goalie 101 • Goalie: the player that guards/protects the goal from the opposite team • A lot of equipment is required for a goalie, so they stay safe (cleats, shin guards, socks, etc.). • No one else in the game of soccer is allowed the use of their hands, except for the goalie. • Soccer is commonly knows as “football” in other parts of the world. • A goalkeeper is depending on mental and physical ability to be ready to catch the ball. *Information according to and



Cross Country

The girls team awaits the sound of the gun. The cross country team has had a great season. Photo courtesy of Kenna Miller.

Runners finish a race, even after someone has already crossed the finish line. Cross Country is not only about the physical aspect, but the mental toughness of being a runner. The Cross Country team practices six days a week in preparation for upcoming meets. “We’re trying [very hard] to get better,” junior Sierra

Coached by Sunflower Elementary Physical Education teacher, Amy VanRheen, the team has more girls out for golf this year, totaling to 12 girls. Junior Jasmine Bailey, who has been playing golf since the age of 6, took second at the St. Aquinas Tournament. Bailey’s goal is to lower her score to a 39. The Varsity Team has already gone to six tournaments and has two more to go before Regionals. Senior Jacque Buckingham, who also placed Second at St Aquinas, hopes to go to State and to score in the low 80s to polish off her high school career in golf.

Junior Jasmine Bailey and Senior Jacque Buckingham walk to the next hole. They both qualified for the State meet. Photo by Taylor Browning.

Girls Golf Junior Krista Long battled hard and placed 10th in the state competition Saturday. At the Eastern Kansas League meet, GEHS placed seventh out of eight teams. “We competed really well at the EKL meet. I think we surprised a couple of teams with how capable we are,” head tennis coach Derrick Abromeit said. The girls said they had improved over the season. “We’re better at technique and working together now,” junior Mary Murphy said. Something they agreed

16 Sports

Coen said. The team is gearing up for the Regional meet on Oct. 26. “I’m excited for Regionals [and] I think [the season] is going very good,” Coen said. The State Cross Country meet will be held on Nov. 2. Coen looks forward to her team completing a good season.

After a tough loss at Blue Valley High, the Blazer football team bounced back in great fashion. Acting like that loss meant nothing, the team came back to win six consecutive, against Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley Southwest, Bishop Miege, Blue Valley West, Blue Valley North and Olathe South. With the win against Blue Valley North, the Blazers clinched the EKL Championship. “Getting blown out by Blue Valley was very humbling and showed our team that we were not very good. That loss has made us work 10 times harder every week to get us where we are right now,” senior quarterback Jared Hobby said. The Blazers face Olathe North and Olathe Northwest to wrap up their season. The team has high hopes for the rest of the year, entering the playoffs.

with was the change in their confidence and mindset. “[I think what the team improved on the most this year is] being more aggressive and not backing down, no matter how good the other team is,” Long said. Junior Krista Long defends a serve. Long qualified for the Kansas State Meet at Regionals at Lawrence High School. Photo by Jenna Goetzmann.

Girls Tennis

The boys practice hard to prepare for their next game. They have been successful in the past few games, going on a six game winning streak. Photo by Abby Buie.

The girls huddle in between matches to stay motivated. They had a positive outlook toward each game. Photo by Jenna Goetzmann.


The girls volleyball team held Senior Night on Oct. 8, which was their second to last home game of the season. They began the night playing St. Thomas Aquinas and then played Blue Valley Southwest. They ended the night, bringing their standing record to 9-25. Soccer players run around the field for 80 minutes hoping to score a goal and not be scored on. Soccer is not only about being able to kick a ball into a goal, but the physical aspect and stamina needed is incredible. The boys’ soccer team practices between three to five days a week in preparation for their upcoming games. This year’s soccer boys have a record of 9-4 as of Monday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. and are looking at a fifth seed spot in the playoffs. The boys faced St. Thomas Aquinas in the last home game and last game of the regular season yesterday.

“This season has had its ups and downs, but we have been working our butts off so we can keep the Blazer volleyball tradition alive and make it to state. Sub-state is ours,” senior Jill Starling said. The blazer volleyball team will travel to Olathe East for their sub-state matches on Oct. 26.

Boys Soccer

Senior Kade Frizzel gets around a defender. The boys have had a winning season thus far. Photo by Paige Johnson.

Stories by: Dylan Schultz, Kenna Douglass, Allie Weber, Lauren Stephenson, Kyle Stubler, and Bailey Prigel.

The Blazer, Volume 35, Issue 2