The BluePrint - Volume 15, Issue 2

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blueprint Hagerty High School

Vol. 15, Issue 2

Nov. 14, 2019

Oviedo, Florida

vr gadgets After they ran a one-week long camp for middle schoolers interested in the STEM field, the Mod and Sim program received $3000 in new equipment.

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mayor race Oviedo mayor election turns into heated social media battle, with lawyer Megan Sladek winning the three-person race with 44% of the vote.

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flip side Sophomore Sierra Dos Santos, a level 10 gymnast, overcame difficult injuries that set back her progress to compete in the Junior Olympics and earn a college scholarship.

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Varsity volleyball sweeps Saturday semifinal match vs. Plant page 12 photo by Madison Sophia



A world of new gadgets Sharika Khondaker


VIRTUAL REALITY IMMERSION Junior Saagar Shah uses the KAT VR to play a game. He was just one of the team who worked on developing a game with the new technology received. photo by Faith Marino

News Editor

iewing the wonders of Yellowstone National Park from the comforts of home sounds unattainable, unless one is experiencing it from videos or a TV show. However, for advanced students in the Modeling and Simulation program, this has become a reality, due to new equipment given to the school from the National Center for Simulation. Students worked with NCS and the Army Corp of Engineers to host two one-week long camps in mid-June for middle school students who were interested in going into STEM. Participants learned the basics of 3D Modeling, Project Management, and Development. In return, the Mod and Sim program received $5,00 of new equipment: a KAT Walk VR (treadmill), an Oculus Quest and Rift S. Students have been working on programming games to enhance the new technology given to them. The junior and senior teams are working on the KAT Treadmill VR, which reads the inputs of a stationary person and allows them to move in one direction without being restricted. Students have been manipulating this technology by programming and designing elements to one day play a game that they have created. “Sometimes it can be frustrating when things do not work, but it is super satisfying seeing what you have been working on for weeks or months work in the way that you want it to,” junior Saagar Shah said.


On Tuesday, Oct. 5, five chorus students participated in the Seminole All-County Chorus performance held at Millenium Middle School in Sanford. The choir consisted of 65 SCPS students and had Dr. Trent Brown from Florida Gulf Coast University. They performed for the superintendent, two school board members, family and friends. They met on Oct. 10 and 14, before having an all day rehearsal on the day of the performance. During practice, they worked on technique, musicality, and performance fundamentals.


On Wednesday, Nov. 6, band students traveled to Lake Mary High School to audition for the Seminole County All-County Band. Students are required to play two to three scales on their instrument in front of several judges. This year, over 30 students from Hagerty made the cutoff for All-County. They will join other top musicians from different high schools throughout Seminole County to play in an ensemble. The AllCounty performance will be held at Winter Springs High School on Saturday, Jan. 25.


On Thursday, Oct. 17, athletic director Jay Getty tweeted out a poll regarding a change in a logo for the athletics department. Students and members of the community had the opportunity to choose between two huskies. They ended up choosing the first design. This redesign will only affect the athletics department. “Each team had a different logo, and we wanted to create a logo that would be uniform across the board,” Getty said. “Teams will only have to change the wording on the bottom of the logo to fit their sport.”

Another team of juniors worked on a biology experience, where students would be able to learn about the immune system. Their goal is to find a way to integrate this technology with education, to enhance learning. “Hard to grasp subjects like Biology, Chemistry and Physics suddenly become easier to learn when you give students a way to visualize and understand the process of these sciences,” junior Nathan Gilman said. The games created by Mod and Sim students have garnered recognition and awards. At NCS Student Day, their chemistry game had won first place. This game allows people to interact with the periodic table, combine different elements and view their atomic structure. Bill Nye would approve. Its success has allowed it to be demoed in December at I/ITSEC, the largest Mod and Sim Event in the world. “It’s great that students are able to achieve these things as it is incredibly difficult to work on a project for only five hours a week, when you are competing against industry professionals who make games for their livelihood,” Mod and Sim teacher Jonah Hardy said. With the introduction of VR in the classroom, students have various paths to explore opportunities and network with industry professionals. Senior Mason Dettman found virtual reality to be a different, but welcomed addition to his life. “We really have the chance to challenge ourselves, in a way that many of us have not done before,” Dettman said. “Students can now become inspired and can take the idea of a perfect world and create it themselves.”

Hardy would eventually like to see his students be able to develop a game that they can publish on STEAM, a game distribution platform, or sell themselves. But first and foremost, he wants them to become better at anything that they are passionate about. “I want them to not be afraid to try something new or fail or struggle a little bit. Not every kid who goes through our program is going to go into the modeling industry, which is okay,” Hardy said. “The end goal is to make them better than they were when they first started the program.”

New VR Equipment Oculus Rift S

Cost: $399 This device is wired to a PC, using motion sensors to track movement.

KAT Walk Mini

Cost: $3,999 It provides an 360 degree VR experience and compatibility with other programs.

Oculus Quest

Cost: $399 for 64 GB $499 for 128 GB It is similar to the Rift S, but allows for a wireless experience.

Culinary pumpkin pageant Leah Luedeman


Staff Reporter

fresh orange canvas is placed on the desk in front of students. They have one hour to create anything they want as long as it is school appropriate. Will their design win first place in the class, or will it be a flop? During the week of Halloween, all culinary students were tasked with culinary’s fifth annual pumpkin carving contest. The pumpkin carvings started out as a knife safety skills exercise, but turned into an opportunity for students to show their creativity. “They do so many unique things and every year I see something that’s different. It’s my favorite thing we do, other than the gingerbread houses,” said Culinary IV teacher Matthew Thompson. The first thing students did was pick their pumpkin from the soccer team’s pumpkin patch. They did this in their groups the week before the carvings. Students were given a size limit to keep the competition fair, but other than that, everything else was their decision. “My group decided that we were going to be funny. We got the biggest pumpkin we could find and we carved two small dots and a line. That was it and we got the second most votes,” sophomore Hannah Makhecha said. Then, the groups of four or five students were given one hour to carve their pumpkin however they chose. “The day they we were going to carve the pumpkins, they just walked in here and got it going,” said Culinary I teacher Rebecca Karr. After the hour was over, different classes

came in to vote on the best pumpkins for each of the three culinary classes. “Yesterday someone did Pennywise…. The sad thing is that one didn’t even win because some students had a big pumpkin and they put a little hole, a little hole, and a tiny mouth,” said Thompson. The winner of each class period was decided by the students’ votes, not just the ones the teachers thought were the most creative. Even though the simple pumpkin in Thompson’s class got second, he thought “that’s not what we’re doing,” but the group still scored a 100 because “it was their idea and creativity.” Each class period will make the gingerbread houses in December with the same voting process as the pumpkin carvings.

CRAZY CARVING Freshman Stefany Rios works with group member sophomore Liomarys Hernandez Pena to carve their pumpkin. The pair has Culinary I together for sixth period. photo by Eileen An



‘Crucible’ tells classic tale of political fear, hysteria Zoey Young


Print Editor

utbursts on Twitter from the current President, deep divides between two parties with no compromise in sight, and public outcry over foreign policy scandals sum up the current political climate found in America. With that in mind, “The Crucible,” was the perfect play to start off fall, according to theater teacher and main director Jamaal Solomon. “It is a very fall-centric type of play. It is the best time, especially since it is taught at the beginning of the school year,” Solomon said. “Everything that happened [in the play] is relevant today and it allows to really bring our audience in and tell that story.” The play was held in the auditorium from Thursday, Nov. 7 through Saturday Nov. 9. Originally by playwright Arthur Miller, “The Crucible” retells the Salem Witch Trials from Puritan Massachusetts around 1692. The plays main themes revolve around hysteria, fear and reputation. Assistant director, senior Jake Lippman was excited to be working with such topics as he can connect it with the real world. “The source material that we are working with is incredibly beautiful and it is really topical to what is going on right now. It is just very interesting how mass hysteria can spread so fast, especially with the world and political climate right now,” Lippman said. Lippman, utilizing a lot of wood and spike elements. While he anticipated minor technical difficulties, he hoped to create lots of intensity

with different lighting during the play to complement the tone of the story. Senior Madison Walker, who played the role of Abigail Williams, was originally not going to audition; there was minor confusion with the topic and the overcast feelings of the play, however, with some research, Walker soon came to love it. “I really fell in love with it and I thought it would be a great piece and it would be amazing to be part of a classical play and a classic piece of literature,” Walker said. Walker specifically noted the aspect of reality that comes with “The Crucible.” Especially interested in why the play was created, she emphasizes the fact that the characters were real people and the stories are true events. Senior Evan Bogert, who played the male lead of John Proctor, looked forward to reviving the character on the stage. To prepare, Bogert had worked hard on learning his lines. “A lot of memorization has been in place for me. It is something that I am not particularly good at, but sitting at home and just running lines as much as I could, has helped me a lot,” Bogert said. “I really want to bring this character to life, to help bring this story out in the best way I can.” Solomon had complete confidence in this first show, despite setbacks with scheduling around extracurriculars, sports and testing. “These actors and technicians and all the people working on The Crucible work so hard to tell this story and I can not wait for people to see it. I want the audience to come away with, is an understanding that this is still happening

PLAYING IT OFF Senior Madison Walker grimaces in pain as the role of Abigail Walker. This role was inspired by a real person during the actual Salem Witch Trials. photo by Sarah Hinnant

and hope that they can leave changed, and make the world better,” Solomon said. The role of Tituba was sophomore Kayla Collins’ first acting role. For her, the most nerve-wracking part of the play was memorizing her lines, especially due to the different wording because of the time frame the play was set in. Collins ended the play with a feeling of shock. “A lot of the crew would sit backstage in disbelief. We were all like, “Wow, we did that,”

Collin said. Sophomore Aria Todriff who played the role of Judge Hathorne, was nervous, despite having played a male character before. Todriff felt the play conveyed a powerful message, which was the main goal of the play. Todriff found the reactions of her friends rewarding. “The most memorable part was after the show, just seeing everyone’s reactions and how it changed people,” Todriff said.

JROTC hosts Veterans Day event Haley Hibdon


Staff Reporter

ol. Calvin Wimbish teaches the seven values of the Army to his cadets: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. As a way to enforce the importance of these values in everyday life, the JROTC program hosted History Channel’s National Take a Veteran to School Day on Nov. 12, the day after Veterans Day.

ATTENTION To celebrate Veterans Day, ROTC decorated the school with American flags. In the morning, they had a flag raising ceremony. photo by Leah Luedeman

Rep. David Smith visited the school for a presentation on quality in education, leadership, ROTC and how they affected his service as a Marine veteran. All 105 cadets in the JROTC program attended the presentation in the auditorium during fourth period. History Channel planned this event with schools as a way for students to connect with veterans and learn more about Veterans Day. “[We are] inviting veterans of all backgrounds to share their stories and receive thanks for their years of service,” Wimbish said. Some of the veterans went to the JROTC room to talk to the cadets about what ROTC has done for them and how it has helped them throughout their military service and daily life. This event is meant to encourage students to stay in JROTC and take advantage of what they are learning as it may be useful to them for the rest of their life. Students who are involved in the program have the opportunity to learn more about civics and careers in the military. JROTC’s goal is to make sure that the cadets are taught about why it is important to honor those who protect our country. Veterans Day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice which ended the fighting between the Allied nations and Germany during World War I. For this reason Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, occurs on Nov. 11 each year. On this national holiday, veterans are thanked for their service to the country. “We want to make sure that when [students] leave high school, [they] have a foundation for a great future,” Wimbish said.












Cupcake Friday will be hosted by PTSA on Nov. 15 during both lunches. Cupcakes are sold outside of the cafeteria for 50 cents each. Students and teachers are welcome to purchase as many as they want.


The varsity volleyball team will travel to Fort Myers to play in the state finals on Saturday at 4 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance through GoFan and $12 at the door. Students who prepurchase a ticket are eligible to ride a free spirit bus.


In the first of two matchups this season, both JV and Varsity will play Oviedo at home. JV plays at 5:30 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m. Later in the season the girls will play an away game at Oviedo. Tickets are $6 per person.


A dodgeball tournament will be held in the old gym on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Forms needed to participate can be found on the Hagerty website and are due to Kari Miller in 6-117 by Nov. 15. The cost is $12 per team of 6.


The first official chorus concert of the year kicks off at 7 p.m. in the auditorium featuring all of the choirs. Director Chris Hickey and the choir will be performing holiday classics and festive music just in time for the holidays.




When your homework date is changed

There is help for those who need it



blueprint Hagerty High School 3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone: (407) 871-0750 Fax: (407) 871-0817

by Alexis Madlang

The one where Netflix is put to rest Charlotte Mansur


urled up under my fuzziest blanket, I turn on the TV and head over to Netflix. I scroll down to my “Continue Watching” and scan the luminescent rectangles for my current binge, “Friends.” Panic strikes as I move towards the search bar, my heart beating faster with every letter typed. I hit enter and pray. It is gone forever. How am I supposed to fill the Rachel-shaped gap in my heart with a cheap Netflix original called “Falling Inn Love?” While Friends may not have left just yet, we all anticipate its soon departure with a feeling of dread. If Netflix does not step up its game soon, its competitors are going to bury it. Friends is not the only show being dropped from Netflix. In addition to losing all their Disney content, “The Office” will leave Netflix this January. “The Office” is arguably the most watched show on Netflix, generating the most viewing hours for the streaming service. These shows are all but disappearing, leaving for different streaming services. Multiple companies have entered the stream war in hopes to take a bite out what was once Netflix’s monopoly. Amazon, Hulu and even Apple offer cheaper subscription costs than Netflix’s whopping $8.99-$15.99 a month plans. These alternative sites bring more to the table than Netflix, including sports stations or cable options if desired. Out of all the new companies Netflix has to watch out for, Disney is the one that could lead to “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Disney plus will offer all Disney movies and TV shows ever created including but not limited to Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, ABC and National Geographic. This includes all of the Disney classics that have been stripped from Netflix. Disney owns the box offices right now, and if they start offering new movies exclusively on Disney Plus, it could spell out bad news for Netflix, especially with the $7 a month subscription fee, $5 if you sign up for a year in advance. Think about all the Hannah Montana and High school Musicals you could binge, it is an

The BluePrint is a student-produced newspaper in which the student editors make all content decisions. The newspaper belongs to the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Opinions expressed within the newspaper do not represent the staff’s views as a whole (except for Our Take), the views of Seminole County Public Schools or Hagerty High’s administration and staff. For information about advertising in the paper, please contact us via e-mail or phone. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement.

Market Reachstatistics 2014 vs 2019 from The Motley Fool

Online Editor


80 Percent Market Reach

ot only is high school a time of growth and selfdiscovery, but it is also a time of experimentation and for some this means experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Teenagers indulge in this world for a number of reasons: peer pressure, escape, self-medication, academic or performance pressure, coping with anxiety, depression and even media influences. The availability and the use of drugs and alcohol in high school are high. By graduation, 70% of students will have tried alcohol, 50% will have taken an illegal drug, 40% will have smoked a cigarette or other nicotine device, and more than 20% will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose in highschool, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse. Teenagers and young adults are “wired” to want to try new things and to seek out adventure, with the end goal of figuring out who they are. Experiments with drugs and alcohol may fulfill this normal desire, but in a way that can have very serious long-term consequences. Exploring with these substances at a young age can develop into a more serious problem with substance abuse as you get older. Of course, different drugs affect the brain differently, but most raise the level of the chemical dopamine in brain circuits that control reward and pleasure. Dopamine is usually released through healthy and happy activities, such as hanging out with friends or listening to music. However, drugs can overpower the process and confuse the brain as if it is a good thing, creating a strong drive to repeat the experience. There are more reasons, other than experimenting, why some teens may develop addictions. There are various factors, such as emotional or physical abuse and certain personality traits like being impulsive or aggressive. Along with internal reasons, drug use at an early age is a predictor of substance abuse later. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “the majority of those who have a substance use disorder started using before age 18 and developed their disorder by age 20.” In fact, according to Addiction Center, one in five teens are already misusing drugs. That means, in a class of 30 kids, six of them are already addicted and need help. Not only can drugs lead to a more serious and addictive problem, but they take a toll on your health and brain. Abusing substances can lead to brain abnormalities, slowed thinking, impaired learning and memory issues. While substance abuse can be a hard addiction to break, especially if one began using at a young age, there are many programs that are willing to help both teenagers and young adults quit and recover. Along with the many hotlines that are available 24/7, there are charities raising awareness about addiction such as the Amy Winehouse Foundation, The Herron Project and Angels at Risk. We must remember that if you or someone you know struggles with substance abuse and cannot reach any of these programs willing to help, you can always talk to a parent, teacher or guidance counselor to get help. This is not just a national problem — students here are struggling and need your support too.






Amazon Video


actual dream. At this point Netflix has a lot to lose and very little to gain. It is important to note that while Netflix changed the way we watch TV, it did not change what we watch. Netflix’s platform was first made up of shows that were already popular. Now that contracts are ending and other companies are pirating the most watched shows, Netflix has had to fall on their Netflix Originals, which are hit and miss. While some turn out to be really good, most turn out to be huge busts. For every “Stranger Things,” there are 10 “The Perfect Dates.” It takes too much time to filter the good shows from the bad shows. Netflix, you are no longer my lobster.

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Maldonado Print Editor Zoey Young Online Editor Charlotte Mansur

News Editor Sharika Khondaker Lifestyles Editor Lukas Goodwin Opinions Editor Andrea Izaguirre

Staff Reporters Haley Hibdon Noah Kemper Chanson Cadet Leah Luedeman Sophie Woodburn Laura Shaw Alexis Madlang

Graphic Designers Milea Dozier Parker North Business Manager Charlotte Mansur

Adviser Brit Taylor Principal Robert Frasca


Give anime a fighting chance CHAR-CASM Chanson Cadet


Staff Reporter

A-ME HA-ME HA! As you sit in front of the TV on a Thursday afternoon, your mother is confused to see a show in a different language with, animation like nothing she has seen before. You begin to explain to her that it is simply a cartoon from Japan. She understands what anime is after a lengthy explanation, but is reasonably upset that you have been watching television for the past two hours instead of studying for your AP World History test. Anime is a style of Japanese film and television animation or the Japanese version of cartoons. The style is something many students enjoy, especially the members of the anime club. There are animes available in about as many genres as there is American television. Ranging from action like “Dragon Ball Z” to romance like “Kaguya-Sama: Love is War,” it is not hard to find one to watch. The rom-com genre is one of the best out there. Any teenager that enjoys shows like “Jane the Virgin” or “Once Upon a Time” will appreciate the drama and intense love triangles anime provides. Some of the most well-known animes involve action, and for a reason. The battle scenes and intensity in anime have become wellknown due to animes like “Naruto,” “Attack on Titan” and “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.” But like anything that is different from the norm, some students do not feel comfortable talking about or watching anime. When asked, students often declined interviews with fear

illustration by Milea Dozier

of their friends discovering their interest in Japanese cartoons. To be fair, some Japan and anime fanatics take it to the extreme. This specific type of person has been dubbed a weeaboo. Weeaboos ruin anime for others. Claiming to be Japanese when they do not actually have any Japanese ancestry is a serious issue that gives regular anime lovers a bad name, as they often tend to stereotype Japanese culture. Weeaboos do not make up the entire anime fan base. If you ask all your friends, at least one of them will have watched or currently watch anime. There are two ways to watch anime if you do not speak Japanese: English dubs or English subs. An English dub is when English voice actors speak the translated script over the original animation. An English sub is when the translated script is placed at either the top or bottom of the screen. English subs, or subtitles, are generally preferred among anime watchers as sometimes dubs do not line up with the graphics, but are still a nice try to making anime American friendly. People often judge anime and fans before watching it for themselves and it is unfair. If everyone disregarded new things simply because they looked or sounded different from what they are used to, we would never have progressed. We would all still be living in England (American Revolution reference). With all the different genres you can easily find an anime series you will enjoy. For those new to the anime world, start with a well-known anime such as “My Hero Academia,” “Soul Eater” or “Nisekoi.” You will not regret it.

New zodiac: It is just not in the stars Andrea Izaguirre


Staff Reporter

round every Internet corner, quizzes and tabloid headlines are claiming to help “Piece Your New Life Together” and to help you “Learn to Live as a Leo.” Astrology has been sorting out our lives in ways we do not even appreciate, whether that be a friendly reminder in your weekly horoscope to check up on your grandma, or a gentle nudge to be a little kinder with your words depending on whether your planets are in retrograde or not. In light of the fact that NASA recently reconfirmed that the sky today is completely different compared to how it was almost 3,000 years ago, when the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of the zodiac, beginner astrologists and weekly horoscope readers alike were shocked to read that the community had already celebrated the introduction of a 13th sign. In a state of confusion, blogs, podcasts and influencers were quick to assess the damage and relabel the zodiac calendar to account for

Barking Mad Barking Mad is a collection of short submissions about things that tick students off around school. If something at school makes you mad, e-mail us at hagertyjourn@gmail. com and it may be featured here.

the Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac. According to the latest shift in Earth’s axis, those born between Nov. 29 and Dec. 18 come into contact with the constellation — not zodiac — known as Ophiuchus. Depicted as a snake-wrestling man, the constellation has caused uproar among the astrology community as all signs are about a month off to account for this newest addition. Some Sagittarius’ are now Capricorns, Scorpios became Libras and Capricorns became Aquariuses. Feuding rivalries sparked, debating whether or not to accept their new lifestyles or reject the Ophiuchus - adapted calendar. Fortunately, everyone can change their Instagram bios and Snapchat birth dates back to how they were, because in reality nobody’s sign has changed at all. The difference between a constellation and a zodiac is dependent upon the position of the sun as it’s perceived from Earth. For 3,000 years, humanity has relied on the same constellations passing through our line of sight at certain times a year to form the

zodiac belt: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Since the invention of the original zodiac system, random constellations have always drifted in and out of view. This doesn’t mean that NASA “invented” a 13th sign to mess with everyone, nor does it mean that everyone suddenly has to identify with a completely different sign. It was simply stated that the constellation Ophiuchus is currently passing through the belt and will continue to appear among the original 12 signs. In the hands of the internet however, this statement was widely misconstrued as a death sentence for almost 3,000 years of tradition and as trendy as it has become, Ophiuchus is nothing more than a friendly constellation floating through our system. Still, for those of us who reject the actual, physical science behind the zodiac placements, all you have to do is wait a couple thousand years for Ophiuchus to cycle out of our zodiac and soon, you’ll feel like a true Gemini again.

“Waking up early badly affects my

“The schedule is way too confusing and IDs around the neck are dumb.” -Elise Stockdell-Gieserler 12

“People go the wrong directions through doors and down the stairs.” -Tiana Brandvold 10

“They don’t serve any vegan food.” -Curran Vaughn 9

body and my mood.” -Anna Deer 10

“Some teachers don’t have a lesson plan and teach out of order.” -Riley Gordon 10 “We need nutritional lunches and bring back popcorn chicken.” -Ava Varghese 10

“Wearing IDs around the neck is dumb. It would be easier to hold them.” -Claudia Allocca 11 “If you don’t have an ID, you have to go to the office and at the end of the day you have to return it. If you don’t, then you have to pay and that’s annoying.” -Darida Valencia-Gonzalez 11


The VSCO girl vendetta is the final straw


Charlotte Mansur

ipping on my venti passion fruit tea lemonade, I wait for my study group to arrive in a crowded Starbucks. A loud scoff causes me to look up from my textbook. I turn my head to see a flustered young girl in a Save the Turtles sweatshirt, flaunting her metal straw. VSCO culture has taken over, and I am sick of feeling guilty for using a straw. Straws are actually amazing. When you are in a movie theater with a 32-ounce drink you cannot sip it straight from the cup in the darkness; that is a recipe for disaster. A straw would come in to save the day from a soda soaked t-shirt. It is the only thing preventing a lipstick smudged cup, and not to mention, bendy straws are a hoot and paper straws just cannot do them justice. I don’t disagree that single use plastics are floating death traps for marine life and should be limited, but out of all the trash swimming in the ocean, straws only represent 1% of the problem, according to a new study conducted by Stanford University. I know what you are thinking: What about the five hundred million straws thrown away every day? That commonly used statistic was found by a nine year-old. Most of us did not even know how to tie a shoe at age 9, let alone create a national statistic. Corporations like Disney and Starbucks have removed straws from their companies, in attempts to dangle low hanging fruit in front of consumers. Instead of removing plastic cups or bags, which accounts for a much larger percentage of plastic in our oceans, it is cheaper and more convenient for them to ditch the straw and replace it with a crappy paper option. Paper straws turn to mush the second you take the first sip. It takes ten straws just to get through one iced coffee. If I wanted to eat paper, I would eat a Laughy Taffy. Plus they are not that great for the environment. Sure, they biodegrade faster than plastic, but manufacturing paper requires 20% more fossil fuels than styrofoam or plastic. Even now, I know most of you are yelling at me while eating with a plastic fork. It is fine if you want to invest $6 in a straw you will lose within the next few hours, but I am okay with my tried and true plastic for now. Even now, I know most of you are yelling at me while you eat your lunch with a plastic fork. Sk-sk-sk-skip the drama and let me use my straw in peace.

“School lunches are trash if you have eating restrictions because I can’t eat foods with high fats.” -Natalia Cruz 11 “I don’t like how they’ll give you a detention if you forget your IDs. Even the good students, who have never gotten a detention before, will get a detention just for that.” -Victoria Lorenzo 11 “The staircases are so small and there are many students. At my old school, they had five people stair cases.” -Antoine Simone 11

“They don’t take attendance notes from parents any more, so students are coming in sick and spreading disease.” -Lillian Sullivan 10 “IDs are annoying and people wear other people’s faces on top and the media center is always closed for testing.” -Abigail Stimpson 11 “The green parking lot sucks.” -Sydney Conley 12 “The classes are really cold.” -Maddie Rhoad 9

RiSE AboveTH For students who have made severe disciplinary mistakes, making positive change is difficult yet rewarding Zoey Young



Print Editor

trong arm robbery and possession of over 20 grams of marijuana were the main charges made against junior Elijah Konz after he fought with another student. Konz was immediately expelled and transferred to Journeys Academy. He would later spend 65 days in a juvenile detention center. At Journeys, the dynamic between teachers and students was different compared to that of a regular school. Students had more freedom to express emotions, primarily anger, as they saw fit. “The students had the right to get mad at whatever they wanted,” senior John Smith* said. “The environment is more acceptable for students to get mad and throw fits and stuff and the teachers do not have as much rights as they do here [Hagerty].” Expelled after a knife was found in his backpack, Smith feels that the climate at Journeys was less strict, but more aggressive. However, this proved to be beneficial. “Journeys is kind of separated into the good kids who made mistakes, and then there are the kids who are actually bad,” Smith said. “I learned when to keep my head down, when to stay away and what to avoid, but I also knew what to stand up for because there are kids at Journeys who did not stand up for anything and got bullied and pushed around.” Konz shared similar sentiments about Journeys and the juvenile detention center. There, he was unable to see friends and family regularly, and had a limited diet. Konz felt compelled to fight others in the program who tried to steal the little possessions he had or his food. Junior John Doe*, expelled for bringing a weapon into school as well as arrested for fighting in sophomore year of high school, found that unlike the juvenile detention center program, fights, for the most part, were voluntary at Journeys. Doe describes them almost as a recreational activity, another way students socialized. Doe feels the emphasis on social interactions over academics at Journeys was why his behavior changed for the better. While the correctional programs proved better than regular school in some ways, there were negative aspects that students feel are unfair. A common grievance students share, is the extremity of their punishments. Both Smith and Doe maintain that their possession of a

weapon on campus was an accident and that administration needed to take more of their side into account. Konz’s time at the juvenile detention center was especially difficult for him. There was no permanent date for release, which put him under stress. One of his only sources of happiness was seeing his mom, who was present at all visitations. “I’m just a kid. I make stupid mistakes, and it made me fall behind in school,” Konz said. Racial disparities were also an issue for Doe at Journeys. Students would use the difference of skin color as a way to antagonize Doe. “The hard aspect; it is a predominantly African-American school and being one of the white kids there, you are obviously picked on. They called you “white boy,” and they picked on you a little bit,” Doe said. Along with hardships faced away from home, students struggled to keep up with friends and family. Doe was unable to see his friends for most of the week, as the hours at Journeys combined with the long bus ride took away a lot of his free time. Smith was initially scared of how his parents would react. After his incident at the school, he spent hours waiting for the news to reach them. “My parents; I was scared my parents were going to kick the crap out of me,” Smith said. While the emotionally-charged process of transferring into Journeys was not an enjoyable period of time in Smith’s life, he found that Journeys was therapeutic and necessary for his later success. “Journeys was an experience that I think I needed,” Smith said. The reaction of Doe’s friends and family were anticipated; Doe knew that they were going to be greatly upset. Disappointment was the main emotion felt and the rest of Doe’s year was “screwed up really bad.” While acknowledging his faults, Konz has no regrets and would not change his past. The changes have had a significant impact on his life; Konz does not smoke any more and is drug tested twice a week by his parole officer. “I feel like it has made me a stronger person mentally and physically. I’m mentally stronger because I know I can maintain [stay calm] while going through situations that are uncomfortable,” Konz said. *Names have been changed


Journeys Academy is a public, alternative school located in Sanford. It has 107 students in grades 4-12 with a student-teacher ratio of

60,000 youth under age 18 are

6 to 1 incarcerated 2

in juvenile jails and

prisons in the United States, and percent of minors in Florida

statistic from

“I needed to do something bigger with my life and not be in and out of the system.” - Elijah Konz, 11

:The Truth About Journeys Alexis Madlang


Staff Reporter

s the alternative school in Seminole County, the Journeys Academy began serving students in fourth through 12th grade in 2010. Every school district offers alternative programs, which are provided by the public schools. Similar to a magnet school, Journeys staff members focus on a set concentrated actions to help select students. Journeys specifically provides an academically sound education, positive behavior supports, opportunities and structure. “I believe we should have more schools in our district that cater directly to the students needs,” dean Roy Decosta said. The first thing people associate with Journeys Academy is discipline. Journeys is a different solution to positively impact and support the academic and emotional growth of a student. Students may be enrolled into Journeys for a variety of reasons, such as constant fighting or possession of alcohol or drugs. The decision, if it is an option for students to attend Journeys will be up to administrators who review the evidence they have and the student’s history of discipline. If it is mandatory for the student to be sent to Journeys, then staff will contact the district to receive directions on what to do. Journeys’ goal after receiving students is to send each student back to their zoned school on time and on target for their academic success. The minimum amount of time a student attends Journeys will be a semester. This time can be prolonged if the student fails any of the three basic rules: behavior, academics and attendance. Journeys follows the same curriculum as the rest of the

Seminole County, but they do not offer as many classes or subjects as a regular school, solely based on the limitations of size. If a student needs a class or level that Journeys does not offer, the staff works with Seminole County Virtual School to assign classes. Some students have more lab time than others, depending on their needs. Rather than meeting with a counselor once a month or a couple times a semester, students and their families will meet with their counselor once a week to keep students on track academically and behaviorally. Focusing on keeping them in the school system and applying customized care helps young adults become productive and fulfilled adults. “Students deserve a second chance after making bad choices,” Journeys’ principal Kenneth Bevan said. The people who work at Journeys choose to focus on helping students where they have identified themselves as needing the most help. They look for ways to build positive relationships and believe students can feel the difference between a caring adult and one that is just going through the motions. “I’m proud of the dedication, persistence, and creative love our faculty and staff operate with,” Bevan said. Every school is required to take a yearly survey that will reflect the environment and relationships in the school. The Journeys survey (taken by students, faculty, staff and parents) results reflecting the climate are among the top five in the district — compared to all schools at all levels. Based off of their success rate as an alternative school, later this month, Journeys staff members will be presenting at a Department of Education conference about how to best serve students who have made bad choices. “Learning from mistakes is an important part of growth and development… the best quality of our school is our unity in building esteem for a common purpose,” Bevan said. illustrations by Andrea Izaguirre


entertainment “The Politician” (Season One) (Netflix)

“Jesus is King” Kanye West

“Jesus is King”, dropped Sept. 27 but hasn’t received as much hype as past albums. This 27 minute album doesn’t have one song that stands out from the rest. The album starts with a gospel style song, “Every Hour,” that involves none of Kanye, sung by a Sunday Service Choir. He keeps these gospel music elements throughout his entire album, which created less diversity since it is the same style throughout. This kept each song tied to the albums title and theme. He did not use a lot of deep bass like in his more popular songs, which is usually something found in a Kanye song. - Alexis Madlang


“Pony” Rex Orange County

The unofficial king of indie pop has yet again graced the genre with another hit album. Released on Oct. 25, PONY, the successor album to “bcos u will never b free” has been labeled as an unexpected surprise by critics. The album features long-anticipated bops such as “10/10”, “Stressed Out” and “Laser Lights,” all standing out as the most “alternative” songs out of the 10 track album. “PONY” features lyrics that relate well with the introspective youth of today. - Andrea Izaguirre

“The King” (Netflix)

After the death of his father, Henry (Timothée Chalamet) struggles to fit into the role he never wanted: King of England. The movie, out on Netflix on Nov 1, was entertaining enough, but compared to the Shakespeare plays, which the movie is based off of, it falls flat. There is too much focus on blood and gore, and not enough on the drama of it all. The movie is boring at times and it is hard to focus on anything other than Chalamet’s bad haircut. The acting is not bad quality but there is just too much focus on war. The movie is worth a watch, just to see Robert Pattinson beautiful hair. -Charlotte Mansur

Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician,” released on Sept 27, is a satirical take on the lives of students. It follows Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) and his path to becoming student body president. As the show progresses, he becomes increasingly obsessed with being president and getting into Harvard. The show is filled with plenty of twists; at times it can be confusing with certain flashbacks, but it is always keeping you on your toes. Payton is hit left and right with curveballs that seem to be career ending. But as time progresses, we see him build into a stronger and more emotionally aware person. - Charlotte Mansur

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

The long awaited sequel to “Maleficent,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” was released Oct 18. This movie expands the story and introduces new characters and new challenges for each. Since the first movie came out five years ago, it starts with a recap of the first movie and what has changed in the plot. Each scene has a magical feel that pulls the viewer into this fictional kingdom, this is also accomplished through the costume details. The new group introduced, which are creatures like Maleficent with wings and horns, have their own backstory and create their own identity in the movie. - Alexis Madlang

“Hot Pink” Doja Cat

Crawling back from the depths of onehit wonderland, Doja Cat has made an unexpected yet successful return back into the R&B scene with the debut of her latest album, “HOT PINK.” The album released on Nov 7, serves as a reminder of just how versatile Doja Cat is as an artist. Known primarily for her viral song turned into a meme, “Mooo!”, fans were excited to hear that a legitimate album featuring the soulful style found in previous albums was on the way. With bops sweeping the Internet, “HOT PINK” secures Doja Cat’s status as the current face of R&B. - Andrea Izaguirre

Reviving the dead spirit of ZombieLand Sophie Woodburn


Staff Reporter

magine: it is 2009 and you just bought tickets to go see the new hit comedy, “ZombieLand.” You sit down on a reclining chair at the AMC with some friends or family, and prepare yourself for two hours of zombie fun. Jokes and limbs are thrown at you from the screen, never missing their mark or comedic timing. The unique characters, gore and jokes stick in your brain. You conclude that ZombieLand is iconic. Flash forward ten years and “ZombieLand: Double Tap” has been released, the sequel to your favorite, epic movie. But will it measure up to the original? While “ZombieLand: Double Tap” has similar elements to the first movie, it does not seem redundant. But, in relation to its plot, that is when it could get a little repetitive. The movie is a violent, funny sequel about four survivors hoping to build a sense of family while being chased by grotesque, brain-eating zombies. The movie follows Wichita (Emma Stone), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), as they move through the Midwest to find their long lost

friend Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who had run away. With any sequel, the plot must bring something fresh to the movie. The directors had considered adding a prospective character to the film. After dissing Ryan Reynolds, they went with the stereotypical “dumb blonde,” Madison, who lightens the dark mood. She always releasing the tensions with her dumb blonde sounding jokes and mannuerisms. Madison was not the only thing that took the film to the next level, the slaughtering did too. Gore is key in any horror or zombie movie, and “ZombieLand: Double Tap” did not disappoint. From running over a zombie with a tractor plow, to dropping the Leaning Tower of Pisa on another, there is an endless supply of blood shed for everyone. Though it is not suitable for young audiences, adults and zombie movie lovers alike will find the blood, potty-mouthed language, and innuendos very, to say the least, interesting. “ZombieLand: Double Tap” was not all kicks and giggles, there was repetitiveness to the plot. The first movie was an original idea, but now that the same sort of plot has been repeated through Hollywood, it does not hit as strong as it did in 2009. The characters seem

to pick on themselves for the repetitiveness, which made it a whole lot more tolerable. The tedious plot was just one aspect to the movie, and though it brought the movie down a bit, the directors meticulous attention to detail picked it back up. The double meaning in the title for example. Narrator of the movie Columbus (Jesse Eisenburg), has a set of obsessive-compulsive “rules” to lay order to the apocalypse. and“double tapping” the zombies to make sure the undead are in fact dead is a main one. The directors are seen as witty for this one, and rightfully so. Certain character mannerisms and catch phrases were carried throughout, which made the whole experience a little more nostalgic, and demonstrated the constant consciousness to detail. For example, Tallahase’s (Harrilson) catchphrase, too explicit to write out, was used throughout the entire movie. Critics say that this saying was overused, but Tallahase’s catchphrase was a part of his personality and to leave that detail out would be a shame. “ZombieLand: Double Tap” leaves the audience satisfied, despite its repetitive plot. And whatever you do, do not leave before the end credits, you will not regret it.


Shows worth dying for

The Walking Dead

An absolutely iconic zombie show. When you think of zombie shows, you think of this... watch it. Another series by the same creators is Fear the Walking Dead.


This provides a refreshing and comedic experience and a relief from the (limited) bloody scenes. Love, romance, and death... what more could you want?

Black Summer The goriest of zombie dramas, the show follows a group of strangers trying to survive and find a women’s missing child. Good acting in these types of shows is hard to find, so it was refreshing.

To see if you’ll survive the zombie apocalypse, scan this QR code and take the quiz!




page illustrations by J

olie M


Megan Sladek wins heated Oviedo mayor race Laura Shaw


Staff Reporter

hen most people think of Election Day they think of the big ones, presidential and congressional elections, pushing aside local elections. But the 2019 Oviedo mayor election was unlike no other. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, residents of Oviedo voted to replace mayor Dominic Persampiere and City Council member Steve Henken, both of whom decided not to run again. On the ballot this year was Randy Core, Megan Sladek and Emma Reichert. Megan Sladek won the mayoral race with 44% of the popular vote and Judith Dolores-Smith won the city council seat with 56%. This round of political candidates used a more modern approach and attacked each other on social media like Facebook. Many supporters and people close to campaigns targeted other supporters or the candidates specifically. Reichert owns the Oviedo 32765 private Facebook page, one of the community’s most popular social media forums. Members of the community can ask and answer questions about many topics regarding things that affect the community, and in some cases air out grievances and concerns that develop into heated social media discussions. A lot of the scandal regarding the election not only took effect on social media platform, but also through the mail. An explicit photo of candidate Reichert with the caption “Emma has a secret” was sent throughout the mail to every Oviedo resident just days before Election Day. Sladek may have been set apart from other candidates because of her appeal to many families in Oviedo. She has two kids that attend Oviedo public schools, which would provide her with an understanding of the concerns of families and working parents. On the ballot for Oviedo City Council was Barry Cammack and Judith Dolores-Smith. This election did not gain as much publicity because of the controversy and attention

All in the numbers

With 100% of precincts reporting, a total of 6,597 votes were cast for mayor. 1,351 votes were cast for Emma Reichert, 2,931 for Megan Sladek and 2,315 for Randy Core. About 16.1% of the Oviedo population voted in this election. For council, 6,365 votes were cast. Judith Dolores-Smith won with almost 500 more votes than Barry Cammack. 15.6% of eligible Oviedo residents voted.

surrounding the mayoral election. The winner of the Council seat, Dolores-Smith, is a third generation Oviedo resident. Her many ties to the community and work with the people of Oviedo stretched very far, building a base of voters she needed to secure the election. She even got the vote of first time voter, Senior Sergio Alcala. “She seemed like the best for the job,” said Alcala, “I wanted more diversity [on the city council].” Both Dolores-Smith and Sladek own small businesses and attended Oviedo schools. Dolores-Smith attended Jackson Heights Elementary Colored School until 1967 when the schools were integrated, while Sladek was valedictorian of Oviedo High School in 1997. Dolores-Smith and her husband own a variety of businesses, including a cake shop called Cakes by Judith and Gladys, a janitorial service, and a computer hardware and software consulting service. Sladek owns Wolfshead Real Estate. Another big concern for this election was Oviedo’s growth. Both Sladek and Dolores-Smith also do not want to develop the plot of land across from Oviedo on the Park, which was a big concern and hot topic in this election. This may have also given both women an advantage over Core. With the introduction of new leadership, 2020 is going to be a big year for politics not only locally, but because of the presidential election and many other elections occurring nation, state and county wide. Florida residents will be voting for state house districts 28, 29 and 30 next November, as well as Senate district 9 and the state Supreme Court. Seminole County residents will vote for the tax collector, supervisor of elections, clerk of the court and comptroller, county court judge group 6 and county commissioner district 3 and 5. As of now there will be no more elections for the city of Oviedo.


Me gan



20.48% (1,351)

Dates & Deadlines Presidential preference primary election:

Vote date

March 17, 2020

Deadline to Register Feb. 18, 2020

Primary election:

Vote date Aug. 18, 2020

Deadline to Register July 20, 2020

General election:

Vote date Nov. 3, 2020

Deadline to Register Oct. 5, 2020






44.43% (2,931)

35.09% (2,315)


More than a water girl Jessica Maldonado



Lifestyles Editor

fter a middle school era of basketball shorts, plain hoodies and worn out sneakers from fifth grade, teenagers entering high school seize the opportunity to reinvent themselves. Some join clubs or find new friends, but one thing everyone has tried is experimenting with personal style. Fashion is always prominent in teen life, and the resurgence of ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s clothes has





Turtlenecks: the best way to ward off vampires


TAKE A SIP Sophomores Abigail Nicolas (right) and Sophia Ramirez (left) finish up their duty of making sure the players have water during time outs. photos by Juliana Joyner

“I have learned so much besides taping,” Nicolas said. “I have learned to be independent and take direction, how to talk to the athletes, how to act under pressure and how to watch for the right things.” While trainers have a lot of responsibilities, some people overlook or belittle their role. Many girls, including Nicolas, have been called “water girl,” a term no athlete or coach is allowed to use. They should either be called by their name or as “trainer.” If someone does call them “water girl,” they must ask them politely to not refer to them as that. Spending six or more hours after school for practices and long nights working all the games, the girls created “unbreakable” friendships

with their fellow trainers and with the certified trainers. “All the girls there are my best friends, and same with the two head trainers. We all have a special bond,” Nicolas said. “We all know that we are there for each other.” Most of them joined the program to get hands-on experience to help them decide what they want to major in after school, and to see if this is something that they would pursue as an adult. “I’ve always been interested in the medical field and I thought this was a great way to get experience while in school,” Peabody said. “Now I want to further my athletic training and get a degree.”

been a part of it since the early 2010s. When looking back on how they dressed as teenagers, most adults cringe at the assortment of tacky, flamboyant styles they once indulged in. But the ‘vintage’ trend is an unstoppable superpower that most high schoolers cannot resist. These four years are a time about discovering oneself, and finding new ways of self-expression can help with that. “My fashion taste is very ‘90s,” said junior Briana Lopez. “The clothes… are really colorful and unique and kind of crazy, but some people manage to pull a good look out of them.” Current retro fads range from high-rise jeans to Nike’s Air Force Ones to tucked in tee-shirts. The aesthetic of being old-fashioned is something that teenagers have become infatuated with. One reason may be that vintage clothing is affordable for mostly unemployed kids. Thrift shops are a haven of fashion and style. Goodwill, Salvation Army and The Owl’s Attic sell all the neon windbreakers and ugly striped sweaters that a fashion-obsessed teen could ask for. “I work, so I pay for my own clothes,” senior Victoria Wilburn said. “I make sure I buy cheap things at thrift stores… over places like Urban Outfitters.” Wilburn has been fixated on retro clothes since she was little, getting them from as

far back as the ‘30s. However, now that later decades like the ‘90s have merged back into pop culture, her interests have also shifted towards that. The media does more than enough to glorify everything vintage, between social media and television. Apps like TikTok are flooded with thousands of teenagers showing off their new outfits from Goodwill that they got for $5, or acting out POV’s pretending to be in the ‘80s, where they get ready for a date with their cuffed jeans and larger-than-life perms. Popular shows like “Stranger Things” add more fuel to this trend, with Eleven’s infamous romper and the striped shirts almost every character can be found in. Accounts on Instagram and Pinterest post old photos and graphics from ‘90s magazines like ‘dELiA*s,’ with spunky outfits that feature cropped shirts and chunky shoes. “I get a lot of my inspiration from that kind of stuff,” Lopez said. “I follow a lot of accounts that post about those things.” Vintage trends have been around for a while, but lately it seems to be all that teenagers can talk about. Opinions will always differ on what the best trends have been, but the growing passion for a blast from the past is impossible to ignore. “I’m just drawn to [vintage clothes],” said Wilburn. “I feel like you can be so creative with them, and it’s just a fun thing I like to do.”

Out with the new, in with the old Lukas Goodwin


Chanson Cadet


nder the Friday night lights, running up and down the sidelines, covering open wounds and making sure everyone is hydrated, student athletic trainers work as the sisterhood that operates behind the scenes. Student trainers help sport teams with medical issues. They attend practices and work the games under the two certified athletic trainers, Keith Miessau and Megan Wilkins, who switch off each semester teaching Care and Prevention. “We care for all of the athletes in their sport depending on the season,” senior Kathryn Peabody said. “Football is a bigger sport that we do a lot more for, so we are out there at practices every day with water while monitoring injuries.” During games, student trainers also make sure that the coaches, referees and opposing team are well taken care of. They always have to be aware of what is going on, in case they have to medically assist an athlete or to make sure the referees have water. They make sure they are prepared with gauze and tape, they prepare injury ice for the opposing team and they make sure they have water for everyone. “We do a lot more than just go to the games,” sophomore Abigail Nicolas said. “For football specifically, we go to their practices every day from right after school until 6 p.m. We do everything that we would do for a game, but it is a bit less stressful because it’s just practice.” Most of the students learned about the program through the Care and Prevention class that taught them the anatomy of the body and how to identify and cure different sport injuries. Joining the program not only allowed students to get a hands-on learning experience, but it taught them important social skills.


ou are in a dark alley, and a man has been following you for the past four blocks. His pale skin looks ghostly in the moonlight, eyes as red as a freshly bloomed rose. There is no doubt in your mind that he is a vampire. You reach the end of the alley and he catches up to you. This is the end. He leans in to bite your neck but stops, suddenly repulsed. You are wearing the one thing more powerful than garlic or wooden stakes: a turtleneck. Turtlenecks are more or less popular, worn by The Rock himself in arguably his most iconic photo, Elvis Presley in one of his press shoots and Britney Spears in the 2002 film “Crossroads.” I wear them as much as I possibly can. After creating fall Pinterest boards for some of my friends, they immediately dissed the idea of wearing a turtleneck, claiming it looked “stuffy,” but it all depends on the style you choose. Those with a more sculpted figure tend to look best in the well-fitting thin turtleneck, going for the “Kim Possible” look. Looser-fitting cotton turtlenecks work well for those who want to be comfortable throughout the day. Most importantly, they hide one of the weirdest body parts, the neck. Some people have a double chin, but if you wear a turtleneck, it goes away. Have an awkward Adam’s apple? It disappears. Worn alone, turtlenecks make a basic outfit iconic. Not many students gravitate toward them, so they are a mature item that makes one look more elegant or put-together. But if you still prefer to not look like a boomer, there are other options. A few months ago, when the cupid turtleneck took over, they were at the forefront of fashion with everyone scrambling to buy them off Amazon, Ebay and Aliexpress. Because of this phenomenon, fast-fashion companies started mass producing transparent turtlenecks. In basic colors like black or white, transparent turtlenecks add edge to outfits. Layered under flowy dresses or complimenting tops, they give a layered look without making an outfit stuffy. But then the neon transparent turtlenecks were created. Some people can pull them off but if you are new to the turtleneck game, starting off with a transparent and neon turtleneck is a bit much. Textured turtlenecks are a great way to add dimension to an outfit. Additionally, depending on the fabric, they can make an outfit look more expensive. Even a cotton turtleneck looks more expensive than a plain cotton t-shirt. That is simply how turtlenecks work. They elevate everything about an outfit. People are sleeping on turtlenecks. Just try wearing a turtleneck, even a plain layering piece. You will not regret it, unless your one goal in life is to become a vampire.


View a Pinterest board with some of my favorite turtleneck fits.


On the W flip side


Sophomore Sierra Dos Santos works to become elite college gymnast Hayden Turner

PLAYS IN ACTION Sierra Dos Santos competes in the 2017 Junior Olympics in Indianapolis, Indiana. She performed multiple skills like a back tuck routine(left) her beam dismount(top) and choreography in her floor routine(right). photos courtesy of Sierra Dos Santos

Sports Editor

hen 3-year-old Sierra Dos Santos started doing floor rolls and tricks at a friend’s birthday party, her parents knew she had fallen in love with gymnastics. “Everything was so natural when I was young,” Dos Santos said. “But as I got older, I realized how much the sport is teaching me, from discipline to the rush of competing.” Sophomore Sierra Dos Santos is a level 10 gymnast at Broadway Gymnastics, the highest level of competition for youth gymnasts. In order to compete at that level, athletes must obtain many high-level skills, like a major release on uneven bars, and able to perform those skills in competition. After graduating to level 10, she practices five days a week for four hours a day. She starts with a 30-minute warm up, conditions for an hour and a half, then works on skills like a front whip for the remainder of the practice. She is preparing for her first season of level 10 competition, starting in January, and practices are both rigorous and time consuming. “I go straight from school to practice and cannot start my homework until 8 p.m. It causes some late nights. It can get very stressful very fast,” Dos Santos said. Dos Santos was preparing for her 2019 season when she began to develop pain in her right shoulder. Both she and her coaches brushed it off as soreness because it was the end of the season. She continued to work through it, and it eventually went away, until she began to train for level 10 competition three months later. She woke up one morning and tried to brush her hair, but she could not lift her arm. “It felt like my shoulder was having spasms, but I thought it was nothing,” Dos Santos said. After an MRI, the doctor diagnosed a torn

labrum, but in a spot that he had never seen before. After her surgery, she was in a sling for two months, and could not participate in gymnastics for 18 weeks. “After surgery I didn’t know what the pain was and that affected my gymnastics because I didn’t know if I should work through it or not,” Dos Santos said. “I feared doing certain skills because prior to my surgery there was a lot of popping during those skills, but my coaches helped me get over it.” The surgery also allowed her to step away from gymnastics temporarily to focus on her freshman year of high school and gradually work toward her full practice schedule again. “In a way the surgery helped me,” she said. “I was able to adjust, and it prepared me to manage my time better.” In addition to her torn labrum and other minor injuries, she suffered a sprained knee in January 2018 during her first routine of level 9 competition by hyper-extending her knee. “I finished the meet while running on adrenaline,” Dos Santos said. “I placed third but after the meet I couldn’t walk.” Dos Santos was unable to compete from January to April of 2018, and was out for the entire regular season, putting her at risk of not qualifying for the postseason. However, after she was cleared to practice again in April, she qualified for states and the Junior Olympics. “I would go to the gym every day and work around my knee to stay on top of everything,” Dos Santos said. “Seeing myself progress drove me to meet that end goal.” Dos Santos wants to qualify for the 2020 Junior Olympics in Seattle and wants to join the University of Michigan team in 2022. “I knew if I kept pushing through [my knee injury] I would qualify,” Dos Santos said. “It made me feel very accomplished knowing that I am doing such a difficult sport.”


Gina DiLullo




Nov. 7


Qualified for state championships



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Cecil Aquatics Center, Jacksonville Junior Gina DiLullo was the only swimmer to advance to the FHSAA 4A Swimming State Championships. She had advanced to regionals with her team, and advanced individually in the 100-meter backstroke by placing 18th with a time of 00:58:68. “I knew if I was going to make it to states I would have to give it everything I had at regionals,” DiLullo said. “I went to practice listened to my coaches and visualized my races.” The state championships will be hosted at the Sailfish Splash in Stuart on Friday, Nov. 18. Races start at 9 a.m.



Volleyball sweeps Plant to advance to state finals Varsity team wins 3-0 to earn Saturday trip to finals in Fort Myers Hayden Turner


Sports Editor

he entire student section was on their feet, each holding up their index finger. The score was 24-17 in the third game, and Hagerty had won the previous two. Only one point stood in the way of sweeping thirdranked Plant High School and advancing to the state championship. One kill from middle Audrey Douglas, and history was made. On Saturday, Nov. 9, varsity volleyball defeated Plant High School 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-20) at home in the 7A state semifinal game to become the first volleyball team in school history to advance to the state championship. “We just wanted it more than them,” outside Jessica Buis said. During the third game, head coach Juanita Hitt made sure her team knew what was at stake. “They started to serve tougher, so I had to stop the players,” Hitt said. “I said ‘Listen, you have eight points that you need to pass the ball in,’ so we rallied back, and we did it.” Buis and Douglas led the team with 12 kills each while setter Emily Lawrence led the team with 38 assists and 12 digs. “I had to make sure that everyone was sticking to the game plan, making sure everyone knew where they were going, and overall just being an encourager,” Lawrence said. After Lawrence’s performance, she is on

pace to break the school’s all-time and single season assist records. She is 25 assists away from 1,000 assists this season alone. “All the girls that I have had the opportunity to play with have made everything that I have been able to do possible,” Lawrence said. Going into the state semifinal, Plant’s season stat line was identical to Hagerty’s. The only thing that Plant did not match up with was the number of blocks. Hitt focused in on that during practice in preparation for the game. “We tried to key in on our blocks in practice,” Hitt said. “We knew that we had to play tough. We knew that it is the final four and they are going to fight for their lives, so we had to fight for ours.” Prior to their final four appearance, they played Deland, Oviedo, and Lyman. After beating Deland and Oviedo 3-0 each, Lyman won the first and third set, but then the team rallied back in the last two to advance to the final four. “They gave us a run,” Douglas said, “but we pulled through and made sure we executed.” The team will play Palm Beach Gardens in Fort Meyers on Saturday at 4 p.m. Athletic director Jay Getty and principal Robert Frasca have organized a charter bus for the first 48 students free of charge, provided students pay for the admission ticket. Tickets can be purchased through Go Fan in advance for $9, or for $12 at the event. The senior-led team has enjoyed the run but is looking for one more win. “This team is so special because we all love each other so much,” Douglas said. “We are all such great friends and that correlates to our success on the court.”



On Saturday, Nov. 2, the boys and girls cross country team competed in the 4A Regional Championship 5k in Gainesville. The girls varsity team was led by Kaylee Rodd and Adrianna Singh. Rodd led the group with a 6:10 mile, and a 20:31 5k. Sing was close behind with a 6:38 mile. The boys team was led by Brayden Seymour who finished with a mile time of 5:05 and a total time of 16:35. Noah Getty finished second for the boys team with a total time of 17:36, helping the boys team finish 11th overall.


On Wednesday, Nov. 6, senior Chase Wajda competed in the FHSAA bowling state championship. In the finals, Wajda averaged 210 pins per game, including a high of 249 pins. In his first game, Wajda came out strong, bowling 249, and then bowled 227 in his second game. After his second game, Wajda bowled 200 his third game and 166 pins his final game. To get to the state championship, Wajda placed fourth in the district championship to be the only bowler to advance, and he placed 44th overall.


After winning regionals, senior Aidan Kramer finished six under par and placed second overall in the FHSAA 3A state championship. He finished the season with an average of 34.5 for 9 holes, and 69.1 for 18 holes. He is also commited to play golf at Georgia Tech. “Aidan competed great, he is one of the best competitors and athletes I’ve ever seen,” head coach Brandi Malkovich said. After setting a girls golf school record for a state series event in regionals, freshman Chelsea Nguyen finished 17 over par at the state championship, with a 77 on day one and 84 on day two, placing 44th overall.

STATE BOUND Setter Emily Lawrence, libero Alondra Garcia and others celebrate during the Plant game on Oct. 22. The team won in three sets. photo by Maggie Taylor

Zuhr receives All-American jersey Noah Kemper


Staff Reporter

he auditorium was packed with students cheering and chanting Jacob Zuhr’s name while he was presented his All-American jersey. During the presentation, principal Robert Frasca, and head coach Wes Allen spoke about Zuhr and his achievements before awarding him with his All-American jersey. After being selected to play in the AllAmerican game, a presentation was held in the auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 6 to celebrate his achievement and to celebrate his selection. Family members, administration, coaches, friends and even classmates attended the event. Zuhr was selected into the All-American All-Star football game on Jan. 24 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. He was only one of nine athletes in Florida to be selected for the game. Zuhr has a five star player rating, and is ranked second in the class of 2020 among all long snappers behind Will Albright from Tennessee. “Being selected feels great, it has so much exposure and is the best of the best athletes in the country,” Zuhr said. “The game lets you showcase your talent on a national level before we play in college.” While attending a summer combine camp, Zuhr competed in football drills and practice, and at the end of the camp, he earned a spot in the All-Star game. He was selected by the All American panel through Rubio Long Snapping. “Jacob will go down as the best long snapper in Hagerty history,” head coach Wes Allen said . “He has never had a bad snap.” Toward the end of his final high school

season, Zuhr was scouted by four different colleges: Alabama, Wake Forest, Florida and Florida State. After receiving offers, Jacob committed to Wake Forest and became the second five-star football recruit in school history, after Jeff Driskel in 2011. The fourth period ceremony included coaches, administrators, staff, teammates and even several classes that came down to be a part of the celebration. “Jacob is a great kid who does well academically and is a really nice person. I’m glad he was able to win the award and to be apart of the select group of athletes,” senior Brett Stender said, who attended the event. On Thursday, Nov. 3, Zuhr announced his commitment to play football for Wake Forest University. “I committed to Wake Forest for a number of reasons, I believe it was the best place for me to go to college, and the academics are amazing mixed with a great campus and a great staff,” Zuhr said.

ALL-AMERICAN Senior Jacob Zuhr gives a speech after accepting his All-American jersey in a ceremony on Nov. 6. Zuhr will play for Wake Forest next fall. photo by Juliana Joyner