blueprint Hagerty High School
Vol. 16, Issue 5
April 14, 2021
TENNIS WINS TITLE Senior Joe Raby participates in the final game of the regular season. On April 7, the boys tennis team finished their regular season undefeated 11-0, winning the Seminole Atlantic Conference for the first time in school history. photo by Lilia Wilken-Yoder
Mega FOR OVIEDO MAYOR
Senior Saagar Shah purchases tickets for the Sammys. Final decisions have been made for the Class of 2021 senior activities. Student reception has been mixed.
Sophomore Annabella Musumeci plays outfield for JV softball. Freshman and JV players often feel forgotten compared to varsity teams despite playing the same sport.
Social media has increased awareness of the troubling statistic stating 97% of people have experienced some form of sexual harassment, a problem that continues.
Theater shakes things up for musical
IN THE LIMELIGHT (from left to right) (1) The cast of the spring musical “All Shook Up” performs their first act, centered around junior Jarrett Warner playing “Chad.” (2) Warner opens the musical with the classic 1950s song “Jailhouse Rock.” (3) Senior Avery Sullivan, playing “Natalie/ Ed,” performs Elvis Presley hits alongside the ensemble. (4) The heart of the performance is the connections between characters like Sullivan’s “Natalie” and Warner’s “Chad.” photos by Gabriella Herrera
ets have to be finished, costumes need to fit, performers need to have their lines memorized and there cannot be a foot out of place in the choreography. The spring musical “All Shook Up” premiered on April 8 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Showings will run until April 10-12 with socially-distanced seats and $13 tickets at the door. “All Shook Up” is a musical inspired by William Shakespeare works like “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Twelfth Night.” Set in the 1950s, the story follows a variety of
different love triangles in a small Midwestern town and tackles what it truly means to be in love. Given a tight time constraint, the preparation for “All Shook Up” was cut from 16 weeks to a mere six. While this was overwhelming for some, sophomore Veronica Yanes-Nadal loves the challenge. Despite it being her first Hagerty production, she is excited to participate. “I tend to struggle more on the memorization side of things,” Yanes-Nadal said, “but when Solomon put up the [characters] and the show we were doing I was very excited and I wanted to audition.” Yanes-Nadal was cast as Lorraine, the
hopeful 16-year-old daughter of the local bar owner Sylvia, and best friends with lead female character Natalie Haller, the local adventurous mechanic played by Avery Sullivan. For audience members who prefer more optimism and romance, Lorraine can be relatable. Their work does not go without acknowledgment. Theater director Jamal Soloman continues to work with all members of the production each day after school, and constantly encourages them to work hard and succeed. “You can really see the love that has been poured into it because it’s a lot of work in a short amount of time,” Solomon said. “They
are doing a phenomenal job.” No matter their struggles, the cast and crew are determined to put on a show that demonstrates the power of love and spending time together. Junior Avery Newton has spoken about how uplifting such a positive environment can be during times of great stress and hopes their lighthearted production can help the audience as well. “It was just so eye-opening to me how much a performance can change someone’s heart,” Newton said. “I hope the audience gets away that it doesn’t matter who you love, it just matters how you love and when you love. Love is love, everyone should win.”
Final decisions made for senior activities Lukas Goodwin
fter several months of uneasy silence, the fate of senior activities still felt uncertain. Following the cancelation of the homecoming dance, seniors were quick to look to admin for a decision on their longawaited prom. The official Class of 2021 eCampus page gathered students’ opinions in a poll, and within a few weeks, principal Robert Frasca announced that prom would merge with the Sammy’s and prohibit dancing, seniors would graduate at the UCF football stadium, and Grad Bash was canceled. While Universal Studios initially permitted Grad Bash under “very important COVID safety protocols,” schools were later informed on Feb. 19 that the event could not happen. The ultimate decision for Grad Bash was out of the school’s hands, but Frasca, the rest of administration and the Leadership class all put careful consideration into the best way to go about two other major senior events – prom and graduation. “Our goal is to try to conduct as many events for our seniors as we can while still following… safety protocols,” Frasca said. “It is hard because I know that our seniors and their parents want the end of their senior year to be ‘normal,’ [but] we are not in a normal situation.” In regards to the graduation ceremony, while it originally mimicked last year’s plan with individually reserved time slots in the
Hagerty auditorium with unlimited guests, all SCPS high schools will now be graduating at the UCF football stadium on May 14 at 9 a.m., and students are permitted to bring up to 12 guests. Although AP exam dates have been adjusted to be administered from May 3 to June 11, the new ceremony date pushed seniors’ last day of school back to May 7. Seniors taking classes through FLVS will be expected to finish their classes by April 30. “The principals in Seminole County have had many conversations regarding senior events for the spring, including graduation… [and] I met with many seniors to get feedback,” Frasca said. Leadership made much more drastic changes to prom. Knowing that dancing would not be allowed as a safety precaution, the event was made into a hybrid with the Sammy’s — a student-run award show for senior superlative nominations, entertainment and reminiscing over high school experiences. The Sammy’s “Prom” will still be held at Hard Rock in Universal Citywalk on April 17, featuring exclusively senior attendees in typical prom attire, decorations and catering that have been in the works since last year, and some other surprises. Prom chair senior Charlotte Mansur is still very optimistic despite the limitations. “I think seniors will be very hesitant at first, but honestly I think this version of prom will end up being even more fun,” Mansur said. Mansur has been coordinating with the chairs of the Sammy’s, juniors Abby
UP FOR SALE Seniors Saagar Shah and Nathan Gilman buy their tickets for the Sammy’s. Tickets were sold during both lunches from March 22 to April 7. photo by Peyton Sutch
O’Donnell, Riley Sophia and Rita Smith, in addition to the rest of the Leadership class, since the two events were merged. They expect to keep things safe through guidelines like enforced mask-wearing, social distancing, temperature checks and restricting it to Hagerty-only seniors. “We are planning many unique and fun things that we all hope will make this Sammy’s the best one yet,” O’Donnell said. “We are hoping that everyone realizes that we are putting a lot of time and effort into making this event.”
Student reception has been mixed since the initial announcements, but most are not too disappointed. Many seniors wish they could go to Grad Bash, have a normal graduation ceremony and dance at prom, but given coronavirus constraints, the school has managed to acclimate suitably while still permitting some fun. “I wasn’t mad at the school, but I was just upset my senior experience won’t be the same as years before,” senior Natalia Cruz said. “I’m probably going to participate in everything… because I’m just going to take what we can get.”
Bright Futures is in danger Laura Shaw
he average cost of in-state tuition at Florida State University and the University of Florida is $21,000 a year. The University of Central Florida is slightly less, at about $17,000 a year, but that is still a hefty sum that most people cannot afford out of pocket. Financial aid is one of the best ways for students to avoid debt and make college a more realistic option. Many Florida students apply for Bright Futures Scholarships in order to earn money to pay for college tuition, however, that could be coming to an end for some with untraditional majors and previous college credits. Senate Bill 86 was introduced in the Florida Senate on March 2 and attempts to amend chapters of the 2011 Florida Statutes outlining fee exemptions. Many amendments have been made to the bill since its introduction but the first draft of the bill is what initially alarmed students. The bill aimed to only give funding to majors that the State Board of Education and Board of Governors deem “lead directly to employment.” While the algorithm was never made clear, it appears that both boards would look at the percentage of employment in each major and rank majors based on that percentage. Only majors with the highest rate of employment would have received funding. This has raised concerns not only to students that will be directly impacted but educators that want the best for their schools. “Bright Futures has brought so many opportunities for so many of our kids over the years, that is of course concerning when changes are being made,” Principal Robert Frasca said. The bill has received a lot of attention from seniors and current college students, especially those that plan to receive Bright Futures and are basing their college decision off of that. Senior Tai Markman is undecided about where she will attend school and is
factoring the bill into her decision especially as she looks at out of state options. “I find it ridiculous that there are certain majors or fields of study that would be on this list and certain ones that wouldn’t,” Markman said. Additionally, the original draft of the bill stated that starting in the 2022-23 school year “eligibility for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants must be reevaluated each term based on the program of study to which the student has been admitted and in which he or she is enrolled.” This means that every year the list of qualifying majors that are able to receive financial aid will be changed and there is no sense of stability for students in terms of financial assistance ahead of time. “How can someone be expected to create a financial future for themselves when they have no way of knowing if their momentarily secure career choice will be affordable the next year?” senior Brooke White said. While both of the original alarming exemptions were taken out, the amended bill now aims to cut the 100% and 75% programs entirely. Other concerns include that the bill could be the first of many to limit funding for education in the future. White has been working towards Bright Futures since middle school and even though it would not affect her decision to go to the University of Central Florida, she has many concerns for the bill and what it means. “I think that this bill is a slippery slope into decreased funding for education. Those who earn bright futures deserve Bright Futures. It’s as simple as that,” White said. Current college students would also be affected with the passage of the bill, another complex factor leading many students to pay attention. UCF freshman Krunali Brahmbhatt is currently accepting Bright Futures and plans to for the rest of her time at UCF. She is concerned about her previous status as an IB student and how that would affect her funding in the future. “Most of my friends are college students I know chose to go to college in Florida just because of Bright Futures and many of them also will not be able to afford college or go to college without Bright Futures,” Brahmbhatt said. The distribution for Bright Futures is still left unclear which likely means that the amount of money received by students would still be recalculated every year. The ending of Bright Futures would mean the reassessment of many career and college choices for students from across the state of Florida. The threat to any crucial financial aid detrimental but especially one that would narrow the possible achievements of many low income families. “There’s a lot of immediate effects...it’s something that I think that people have to keep their eyes on...especially those who are affected directly,” Frasca said.
NEWS BRIEFS Juniors take SAT on April 13
SAT Testing for juniors is on April 13 and will be the first school-administered SAT test for the class of 2022. Tests will be held in individual proctored classes and students will receive testing tickets with their testing locations via their school email. Students should bring their own number 2 pencils, calculators and snacks, as well as lunch if it is needed. Testing is scheduled to be over by 1 p.m. with students being released for lunch after they are finished. Students are expected to go to their regularly scheduled fifth period class after lunch.
Girl Up sticker sales end April 16
The Girl Up club is selling stickers for their annual fundraiser April 9-16. Stickers are sold at first and second lunches for $2 and students have the choice between two designs: a portrait of a woman and a rectangular sticker stating “This sticker helped send a girl to school.” The stickers are sold to raise money for refugee girls’ education, which the club hopes will bolster the lives of young women who live in poorer conditions. “Selling just 10 stickers can send a refugee girl to school for one year,” co-president Sarah Marino said. “We hope to bring awareness to both the club and the cause, and that people will feel empowered knowing that a girl’s education can change the entire trajectory of her life, town and country.”
UPCOMING EVENTS APR 14 APR 17 APR 26 MAY 14
HONORS GRADUATE CEREMONY
On April 14, the Honors Graduate Ceremony will be held in Sam Momary Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Honors Grads should arrive before 6 p.m. Make sure to RSVP if you plan on attending and are an Honors Grad. This ceremony is held for students with a 4.0 GPA or above.
SAMMY’S SENIOR SUPERLATIVES
On April 17, the Sammy’s will be held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Universal Studios. This night is for senior superlatives to be awarded. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the Sammy’s will start at 7 p.m.
SCHOLARSHIP AND AWARDS NIGHT
In the auditorium on Apr. 26, Scholarship Night will start at 6:30. Students will receive two tickets to invite people of their choice. Students should submit their scholarship information by April 15, and additional information can be found on the Hagerty website.
On May 14 , the class of 2021 will graduate in the Bounce House at UCF at 9 a.m. Each graduate will have 12 tickets to give to family and friends, allowing them to attend the ceremony.
opinions The woes of online classrooms
Academic integrity violations show deeper problems
itting in the old gym listening to the proctor drone on seems hours long. There are the 10-minute directions that tell you not to share the contents on social media, there are lockdown browsers to install and computer cameras to fiddle with. It is hardly necessary; you would never cheat. However, many students can and will. Videos on the internet teach you how to hide answers within the ink barrel of your pen and bypass the toughest of online plagiarismcheckers. They get millions of views, with an equal number of comments sharing different variations. Cheating is a regular part of education, and with that, technology and educators have had to adapt. Teachers require multiple screenshots of your work within a certain time frame and apps now interpret the slightest head tilt or blink as a sign of dishonesty. It seems that the problem will never be solved: some students will do anything to get an A, no matter the amount of restrictions and oddly specific rules. With AP exams quickly approaching, the incentive is too great, especially with the option of taking tests at home. Spending a half hour combing through Reddit and Twitter to find out the essay prompt is not as hard as remembering the specifics of the Gilded Age or the polarity of the cell membrane. Cheating of any kind is unacceptable. Whether it be taking pictures of the answers on the teacher’s desk, or having Quizlet open during a final exam, it should not be done. However, it is not surprising, given the current school culture. Getting into the top ranked universities is the first priority, followed by being at the top of your class and keeping up with the expectations of family and friends. If you start to see your grades slip, trading dishonesty for a 100% might not seem too bad. The original purpose of school was not to compete with others, but to compete with yourself and what you know. We can start by lessening the emphasis on tests and exams and making it more comfortable for a student to share their difficulties. We all know that our nine week exams are worth 20% of our grade and that some EOCs determine our admission to higher level classes and graduation. It has been drilled into our heads and looms over us throughout the whole year. The pressure starts early, which does not help us focus on what we are actually studying. By lessening the impact a single test or project makes on a semester grade, students might be more inclined to focus less on grades and more on content. Homework assignments need to be more in depth and taken more seriously; they should not be quick worksheets that require little effort. There also needs to be a better way for students to communicate to their teachers. Of course we complain to our friends about how hard calculus is, but it is more important to talk to your teacher. There is no shame in sending an email or asking about tutoring options, yet many still feel uncomfortable speaking to their teacher in class, let alone one-on-one. It is important to be approachable and willing to help even the most desperate of students, so long as they are willing to work hard and to ask for help. On a grand scale, it will take a lot of societal change to shift schooling to where it needs to be and to return the focus to basic learning. However, we can start to fix the problem through altering the way we treat our own education.
blueprint Hagerty High School 3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, FL 32765 firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (407) 871-0750 Fax: (407) 871-0817
by Alexis Madlang
Asian-American hate: the silence is deafening
hen I have a bad day, I go straight to bed and stare at my phone for hours. I do not set out to enact homicidal vengeance in a fit of prejudiced rage against eight innocent people. On March 16, gunman Aaron Long murdered eight people at three locations. The shooting is yet another indication that the situation runs deeper than Long’s actions and intent. It is a problem with America’s treatment of Asian-Americans in history, which has long been ignored. It should not take multiple deaths to officially address anti-Asian violence. The victims’ names were Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Sun Cha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Yaun and Paul Andre Michels. As of March 23, it has not been officially named a hate crime by federal officials. The United States Department of Justice defines a hate crime as a crime motivated by bias. Read those names again. Six of the victims were Asian and seven were women. The New York Times reported March 19 that his reasoning was to curb his “temptation,” as he had a sex addiction. It is absolutely clear that this was not random and that Long made a conscious decision. As an Asian-American girl, this feels eerily close to me. I was adopted by two Caucasian parents and there is no doubt that I am wholly assimilated into the Western lifestyle. However, I have monolids, straight, black hair and a generally flat face. While not applicable to the entire Asian race, these features make it obvious that I am Chinese. I cannot get rid of these traits and neither can the Asian women who were fatally shot because of Long’s, at the very least, inappropriate fetishisation of an entire race. We are not fragile dolls or mail-order brides. We are not your favorite anime character come-to-life. We are not your “temptation.” Asians exist as real people that live real lives. Yellow fever, or having a fetish for Asian people because they are Asian, is commonly joked about, but it is reality. Commonly known as “weeaboos,” avid “fans” of Japanese culture are rampant. Except that they are fans of what they see on anime, with no regard for actual Japanese customs: just the “cute,” often fictitious aspects of it.
Editor-in-Chief Zoey Young The BluePrint is a student-produced newspaper in Print Editor which the student editors make allLukas content decisions. Goodwin The newspaper belongs to the Columbia Scholastic Online EditorPress Association, the National Scholastic Press Association Charlotte Mansur 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.
I am thankful to have received the considerably lesser end of this bias. People insist that I look exactly like Grey’s Anatomy’s Cristina Yang, who is played by Korean, curly-haired actress Sandra Oh. People tell me I look like an anime character even though I am not Japanese, nor a cartoon drawing. Others are sexually exploited, raped and objectified. March 16 is a reminder that many are killed because of such outlandish fantasies. But the Asian community didn’t need a reminder, especially one as horrific as this. Unfortunately, the rest of the U.S. was shocked. Asian-American hate and racism has been swept under the rug. We briefly learn about the Japanese internment camps and bombings in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but only America’s point of view. Little is known about Asian history and oftentimes, Asian-American crimes do not get brought up in the news. What came as a nasty surprise for many, is actually a culmination of the increased number of hate crimes against Asian-Americans since the emergence of COVID-19 in Feb. 2020. In 2021, broadcast company Voice of America reported more than 100 pronounced Asian hate crimes in the biggest U.S. cities, more than double the numbers in 2019. Suddenly, a “wet market” was relegated to a Chinese plague factory, despite it literally meaning a market selling perishable goods. The same people who invest in Asian skincare products called me dirty. The same people who post “fox-eye” make-up tutorials on Youtube stretched their eyes back and made fun of me for having the eye shape they now desire. People want to peacefully continue to consume products of Asian labor, but also continue to stay silent. Known as the model-minority myth, the racist idea that Asians are the ideal minority in America is present in the West. Our supposedly obedient nature and innate intelligence are why we should not be angry or demand change. It seems that if a couple of Asian-Americans succeed, then all of us succeed. There is a conflicting message. Some believe that we are all good at math and aim to be doctors. In Long’s case, he believed that Asian women were supposed to work at massage parlors and dole out sexual favors. The model-minority can be confusing at times, but one thing is certain: whether we work at a nail spa or go to Harvard, we are to sit down and shut up, even if it means the death of our own.
Editor-in-Chief Zoey Young Print Editor Lukas Goodwin
Sports Editor Hayden Turner
Online Editor Charlotte Mansur News Editor Sharika Khondaker
Photo Editor Peyton Sutch
Politics Editor Laura Shaw
Lifestyles Editor Alexis Madlang
Social Media Editor Andrea Izaguirre Adviser Brit Taylor
Opinions Editor Sophie Woodburn
Principal Robert Frasca
Staff Reporters Skyler Glenn Bethany Barker Chanson Cadet Karson Cuozzo Matthew Dearolph Skyler Glenn Gabriella Herrera Julia Sumpter
It’s time to go back to the movies Charlotte Mansur
S GHOST TOWN The Regal Cinemas in the Oviedo Mall will reopen in April, but it remains to be seen if people will return to see movies in person. photo by Peyton Sutch
starting to reopen it is important to support in-person theaters. Although most theaters are large franchises like Regal or AMC, each storefront employs dozens of local students and community members and most of the time are owned by your everyday family. These people are currently hurting financially after having to close down the theaters temporarily. When you spend $30 to watch the new Disney+ release on your couch, you are hurting the people who really need it while just adding to big media’s already heavy pockets. Plus, there is a lot a movie theater can offer that streaming services can not. The peoplewatching is entertainment in itself. Couples on
their first date, ushers who are ready to quit, moms figuring out how to parent their children while juggling two large popcorn buckets and a Diet Coke; you would not be able to find any of these people strolling through your living room. When you substitute Netflix for the theater you miss an element of social interaction that is rare to find these days. The excitement that comes from going to the movies with friends is not something you can replicate. Do not let movie theaters become the next BlockBuster. As movies start to come out in theaters again, take your family to enjoy some popcorn and a great experience, before the charm is lost forever.
The same sport, but less recognition
Pretty for prom: when beauty excess is OK
he smell of butter fills the air as you pile into a dimly lit auditorium with your friends. Popcorn kernels crunch beneath your feet as you contemplate the perfect place to sit. But just as the roller coaster simulation starts to play, you wake up on your couch greeted with Netflix asking “Are you still watching?” The movie theater experience may not always be glamorous, but its charm and nostalgia is something that we all should be working to protect: it is time to go back to the movies. The pandemic hit movie theaters hard. Once crowded auditoriums have turned into dust-covered ghost towns, but as theaters start to reopen with new COVID procedures, film enthusiasts should feel comfortable returning. Regal Cinema Theaters for example, now enforce masks in all their theaters when not eating or drinking, and have a 50% capacity limit in all their viewing areas. These precautions are no different than surrounding restaurants and theme parks which are on the road to recovery since quarantine. If people are comfortable enough eating in restaurants and perusing around Cinderella’s castle, they can spend two hours in a distanced theater surrounded by snacks and friends. With everyone trapped in their homes for almost a year, it was easy to rely on streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ for entertainment, but now that the world is
ast night, the girls softball team put up a great fight against Lake Brantley, but unfortunately fell short toward the end of the game.” This is a typical TV announcement following a varsity game, but what people don’t know was that JV beat Lake Brantley 12-1 just before the varsity game. It is not uncommon for the morning announcements to disregard JV scores, instead generalizing two programs into one word: “softball.” This disregard for JV teams makes players feel forgotten; as a JV athlete, I am used to it, and I am sure others are too. Everyone knows that JV and freshman teams are the stepping stones for varsity. If an athlete is really good, they skip the “lower” team and go straight to varsity, but that does not happen for everyone. Just because the ‘best’ players are on varsity does not mean we should ignore everyone else. JV teams are viewed as less-skilled and are
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 email@example.com and it may be featured here.
overlooked because they are not varsity. These are essentially feeder teams which prepare athletes for the upper levels of competition. The players on this team learn a lot and are pushed to be a great athlete in order to perfect themselves. This also gives players an opportunity to become acquainted with the team and school culture before being called up to varsity. JV and freshman are like the younger siblings of varsity, but they should still be treated with respect and recognition. Freshman and JV teams are looked so lowly upon and bashed so harshly that athletes feel the pressure is too intense to keep playing. It is upsetting, especially as JV can still be extremely competitive and tough to keep up with; it takes the mental and physical toughness to simply be an athlete. A lot of people that have never played on a JV or freshman team do not see the talent that is there. Many athletes are kept on JV for a while so the team has talent to compete with other schools, and coaches even hold back certain players, knowing they have a spot on varsity when the upperclassman graduate.
With morning announcements, the journalism program and TV Production leaving JV and freshman teams in the dust, no one hears about them, and they feel left out. This is the toughest on freshman, who have never been on an official team. Surviving tryouts is an accomplishment on its own. Making it through the season is not easy, and a little encouragement or acknowledgment to these players should be given. Varsity athletes get sports profiles in the yearbook and special appreciations from Woof TV because of their “superiority.” While schools usually want to recognize players who have been playing longer, it is important to acknowledge the talent on all teams. No one but the players on that team would know how good they are because of the lack of representation in school media recognition. This lack of support from the school makes us JV and freshman players feel like the hard work we put in was for nothing. Just because JV is not the first name you hear when it comes to high school sports, does not mean it should be pushed to the side or taken less seriously.
trolling through the beach in a full face of makeup and an evening gown may get you a few weird looks, showing up to the grocery store with a new perm would be strange, and getting long acrylic nails for your church’s volunteer event would be met with some whispers from the youth group moms, but when it comes to prom, all of these things seem necessary. Prom season, or in this case Sammy’s season, is one of the few times where drastically changing your appearance is not only socially acceptable, but expected, and it can be scary. For example, girls across the nation flock to uncomfortable drafty booths to be sprayed with glorified paint, in hopes to resemble the color of a slightly bruised orange. Fake tans may not seem like an important element of beauty until you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost in your prom dress. Spray tans are not the only form of fake tan available, however. True risktakers dapple in self tanner, a lotion like substance that you spread all over yourself and hope to god it comes out even. If you don’t play your cards right you could turn into a splotchy mess. For those not in the mood for gambling, tanning booths almost guarantee the perfect tan, for the small price of potential skin cancer. These options may sound scary, but no one wants to risk a natural tan turning into Larry the Lobster before prom. Prom also makes people get crazy with their hair. Teased, dyed, curled; the perfect hair is every girl’s dream. But choose your stylist wisely – one wrong move and the perfectly styled updo from Pinterest could turn into something from your mom’s Good Housewife magazine. Getting ready for prom can be painful, too. Plucking or threading eyebrows is common, and although it leads to a smooth, sculpted brow, it feels like being stabbed one thousand times right between your eyes. But even that pain comes nowhere near the torture that comes from getting waxed. Imagine pouring concrete on your skin and pulling it off faster than you can say Bob the Builder. Even if you are lucky enough to escape without any bleeding, the pain will haunt you forever. The process of getting ready for prom is daunting, but when it is all done, your pictures will last a lifetime, unless you end up looking like the villain in a ScoobyDoo movie. In that case, get rid of them by Monday.
“Hat policy should be changed. Religious headwear is OK. Nonreligious is not allowed.” - Blake Watts, 11
“Admin literally doesn’t do anything when a boy harasses a girl. They victim blame all the time.” -Lizabelle Soto, 11
“The stairs aren’t big enough for the population of students.” -Victoria Lorenzo, 12
“There is trash all over campus, kids need to stop doing that.” -Sarah Everson, 11
“Theater decided to sell tickets at my lunch table and made us move when there were other empty tables.” - Aiden McIlvenna, 9
“Why does administration enforce dress code instead of wearing your mask correctly?” -Emily Taylor, 12
“Parents dropping off and picking their kids in the student parking lot.” -Sergio Perro, 11
“People that don’t follow the flow of traffic in the hallways and stop in the middle to talk.” -Kyla Le, 12
“I don’t like how overcrowded Hagerty is now, especially with COVID and people not wearing their masks right, so being in crowds with other people is just annoying.” -Sacha Gilbert,12
“I wish there was more support for online students, I know it’s not easy for the teachers, but even things like making sure the camera angle is good makes a big difference.” -Kyle Casiano, 12
“People not wearing their masks above their nose.” - Catherine Bunn, 10 “It sucks that we get no hoco or prom.” - Kobe Herrera, 12
“Intense PDA in the hallways.” -Kaitlyn Sookdeo, 12
“I think AP World is too hard.” -Brayden Bast, 10 “The bathrooms smell bad.” -Julia Lavoie, 10
P O "I'm the president of NHS, and I work at Plato's Closet."
People are often involved in different spheres of popularity through common interests.
"I spend most of my time at the skate park, and I manage Plato's Closet."
"I love playing sports but I also skateboard. I'm the VP of NHS."
"Po de o situ
In high school, popularity means something different for everyone Alexis Madlang
hat is popularity? “The most liked people among a population,” junior Isabella Parron said. “The amount of friends you have,” sophomore Gabby Bornelus said. “When everybody knows your name and who you are,” senior Sadie Webster said . “An irrelevant status that people hold as part of someone’s personality,” freshman Jalynn White said. “An overall view of someone from a large group of people,” sophomore Jack Schuck said. During an interview in 2017, clinical child and adolescent psychologist and writer of Popular: The Power of Likeability in a Status-Obsessed World, Mitch Prinstein said, “We learn about popularity as we are growing up, and we have this choice to make about which type of popularity we want to seek for the rest of our lives.” Prinstein defines popularity in two ways: Likeability and status. Likeability can also be referred to as childhood popularity. The kids who make others feel good, included and valued are the ones who are the most “likable.” But once everyone enters high school, they begin talking about who is “cool,” or who has the most followers on Instagram. “I wouldn’t say anyone at Hagerty is popular, but if I was asked who is popular in middle school, I would have given a onso Hilerio name,” said Bornelus. Similarly, sophomore Alfonso Hilerio relates the altered meaning of popularity to maturity and location. “Popularity depends on the situation,” said Hilerio. “When I go to a sports event and I know I’m a good player, I consider myself popular among the people around me because they also recognize that I am good.”
opularity epends on the uation."
Throughout history, popularity has been based on community and working together toward common goals. Those who stand out as unique, such as someone being rewarded for creating a good environment, would be considered a popular figure in the past. “Our whole Western society used to value likeability a lot more than it does now. You can never leave your house and pretty much work, live and do everything without even having to go outside or work with others collaboratively,” Prinstein said. “Now that this is the world that we all live in, it makes it harder for people to care about likeability.” The reason why status is a big deal around the age 11 or 12 has something to do with puberty to change in middle school. Scientific studies such as Adolescent Maturity and the Brain from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health in 2010, reveals that part of maturing affects how the brain responds to people near, and caring about social relationships. Specifically, adolescent brains start to become really tuned in to who is getting the most attention, who seems most powerful, influential and who everyone else looks at the most. Many people get their status by stepping on others and making themselves seem more powerful, more important or more worthy of attention than others. In doing so, they actually make themselves quite dislikable. However, people who are status-seeking tend to focus too much on their own image and only do things that will maintain or augment their position. In reference to her old school, Webster can relate. “Popularity was very evident. People were actually pretty mean, and the ones considered popular knew they were the ‘it’ crowd,” said Webster. Status is the primary form of popularity displayed in media and pop culture, creating a misconception of what it means to be popular. Movies such as Mean Girls depict status popularity through a wealthy, dislikable female antagonist: Regina George. Sharpay Evans from the High School Musical movie series also fits the description. “Movies like Mean Girls kind of scared me going into high school. I assumed there was going to be that group of girls that
bullied everyone,” said Bornelus. “But nobody is going to walk up to your locker and slam it in your face, then have everyone else come surround you laughing.” Similar to how Regina and Sharpay are openly hated among their peers, some popular students are also widely disliked by their peers, even when those same peers seek to emulate them. Although people are hardwired to seek popularity, it is not always healthy. In fact, status popularity puts teens at risk for long-term consequences. It affects friendships, dating life, career choices, happiness in adulthood and even lifespan. In his own research, Prinstein conducted a study to see what happens to the “coolest” kids in high school once they grow up. It is found they are at much greater risk for being lonely, getting fired, suffering from addictions and having their partners break up with them. A study led by Joseph P. Allen, Hugh P. Kelly Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia found similar results. Allen reflected on the results stating, “It appears that while so-called ‘cool’ teens’ behavior might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviors to try to appear cool, at least to a subgroup of other teens.” “I feel like popularity is left behind in high school, so if you are considered popular in high school, it’s not going to follow you ever, you move on,” said Webster. However, unlike its portrayal in films, status is not always a negative form of popularity. “I considered myself popular at my old school because I talked to and knew everybody, and was friends with everybody, especially because I was a social butterfly.”
"Popularity is left behind in high school. It won't follow you, you move on." - Sadie Webster
Don't think you're popular? Do you consider yourself popular?
Do you belong to a club or a sport?
No Out of 255 responses
29.4% Do you associate with any classmates outside of class?
Do you talk to people outside of your family?
Do people consider you enjoyable to be around?
Maybe you are...
R R E E V V II E E W W B O X
“Dancing with the Devil”
“Ginny & Georgia” (Netflix)
The four-part documentary series directed by Michael D. Ratner features discussions of Demi Lovato’s personal and professional life, including what led to her near-fatal drug overdose in 2018 and her road to recovery. Dancing with the Devil is raw, heartbreaking and challenging to watch, covering topics from sexual assault to eating disorders. In four episodes, this series not only sheds light on Lovato’s battle, but educates on the dangerous effects of drugs and provides an explanation to millions who were worried about Lovato. Be wary of the trigger warnings. - Sophie Woodburn
Nobody is perfect. Everyone has baggage, despite their attempts to forget their past. When Georgia Miller (Brianne Howey), tries her best to move on with life, it catches up to her in a humorous way in “Ginny & Georgia,” released Feb. 24. The season covers a lot in its 10 episodes, and though it does it well, it can be too much. Also, at times, the teen behavior is unrealistic. A SnapChat video that Ginny’s boyfriend, Hunter (Mason Temple), sends her, is so cheesy that it became a meme on TikTok. Although “Ginny & Georgia” has its flaws, it is worth the watch. - Julia Sumpter
“OK Orchestra” AJR
“How Did We Get Here” Blu DeTiger
In an economy where therapy is too expensive, teenagers tend to turn to music as a form of stress relief. Indie pop band AJR’s expressive album “OK Orchestra” conveys this perfectly, with unique lyrics that emphasize the uncertainty of this year. “Joe” and “Ordinaryish People” steal the show with their optimistic message of breaking molds and sharing your authentic self with the world. “OK Orchestra” is not without its faults. The shifts between each song often feel jarring. Listeners across the world can find a way to relate to at least one song on this album. - Gabriella Herrera
“MONTERO” Lil Nas X
Sliding down a stripper pole to hell sounds like a fun way to spend your Thursday afternoon, right? Popular rap artist Lil Nas X did just that in his song “MONTERO” The music video, containing “biblical symbolism,” has outraged millions, with claims that the visuals are blasphemous. The song itself is catchy and the music video is very entertaining. As a gay man, Lil Nas X’s vulnerability concerning his sexuality within the music video means so much to LGBTQ+ youth who are struggling with the same ostracization from society. “MONTERO’’ will likely be the No. 1 track on the Hot 100, and rightfully so. - Sophie Woodburn
When up-and-coming bass guitarist Blu DeTiger released her first single “Figure It Out,” the song immediately became a viral sound on TikTok. The album has an overall upbeat sound, composed of songs with a jazzy beat and catchy lyrics. The songs “Vintage” and “Cotton Candy Lemonade” are especially relaxing to listen to, with both featuring lots of bass riffs. “Toast with the Butter,” “Kinda Miss You” and “Night Shade” are slower but no less enjoyable. Needless to say, Blu DeTiger’s career is just getting started, and she will likely become exceedingly popular. - Sophie Woodburn
“Concrete Cowboy” (Netflix)
Starring “Stranger Things” star Caleb McLaughlin and cowboy Idris Elba, “Concrete Cowboy” is about a troubled 15-year-old boy who is forced to come to terms with his estranged cowboy father in Philadelphia, and new-found bonds emerge. Based on Greg Neri’s novel ‘Ghetto Cowboy,’ the film explores the lives of Philly’s urban cowboys, and the film even stars real-life cowboys. The film shines best when its horses get screen space. The same cannot be said of its exploration of the interpersonal relationship of Cole (McLaughlin) and his father Harp (Elba). - Gabriella Herrera
‘Operation Varsity Blues’ deserves acceptance letter The “side door” How to get into college using the side door* *closed since March 2019
1. GET IN TOUCH
Find Rick Singer’s contact information and call him. He’ll outline what to do.
2. CHEAT ON TESTS
In this optional step, take the SAT or ACT with accomodations. Don’t worry, your score will be adjusted.
3. STRIKE A POSE
Find an obscure sport that not many people play, and pose for photos. Use of Photoshop is recommended.
4. TRANSFER MONEY
Send money to Rick Singer’s foundation to conceal your bribes to college coaches. It is a “donation,” no one will ever know.
Sit back and relax, you got into a prestigious school. Conceal until the spring semester.
he pressure of applying to college plagues students. As an extremely volatile stress inducer, students and their parents have been obsessed with the idea of attending an elite institution — in recent years, the number of applications to prestigious universities has soared. Netflix Original documentary “Operation Varsity Blues,” released on March 17 outlines the lengths those with this obsession are willing to go. It provides an in-depth look into the college admissions scandal orchestrated by Rick Singer (played by Matthew Modine). The scandal broke national headlines in 2019, revealing the illegal bribes made by wealthy families to ensure their kid’s admission into elite schools. The film explains this process through a “side door method”: Singer and his company would fabricate strong athletic profiles for students, while coaches and athletic directors would go along with the pretense. Not only did the “side door” devalue the work of actual recruited athletes, but it showed the extreme privilege the rich had. Accompanied by the slew of interviews, news segments and YouTube clips, the film
extracts the FBI’s released wiretap transcripts in order to recreate the events as they happened in real life. The conversations included are wordfor-word from the transcripts, an excellent move on the director’s part. This provides an intriguing and real look inside what truly happened with no unnecessary dramatization like some other documentaries. Seeing the conversations play out so simply, as if it was normal, was sickening: these families were entitled to every resource they could have to legally get their kids into college, yet they still attempted to illegally exploit the system. It showcases just how far they were willing to go to fulfill their desires of having their child attend a prestigious university. Although there is a lot of information to digest, the documentary was relatively easy to follow. Every time a new person was brought into the re-enactment, it cut to a brief introduction of the person actually implicated and it provides a background on individuals the audience may not know. The added context avoid unnecessary confusion and adds a nice touch from an editing perspective: re-enactment scenes were made distinct from other footage with the inclusion of horizontal black bars. A serious tone was established with the
content of the movie, which was only enhanced through the tense music and suspense build-up. However, there were moments of dry humor that helped lighten the mood. One of the best moments in the entire documentary was when a YouTube clip of a girl was played, expressing how she was sure other students that were more deserving than her got into a school she got rejected from… and then it cut to Olivia Jade. Jade, daughter of actress Lori Loughlin, used the “side door” to be recruited as a coxswain, or rower, for the University of Southern California’s crew team. After a cohesive narration of events, the end of the documentary brings it to the present day: the people indicted, their status in court and sentence was displayed. Even though the proceedings are still ongoing, it brings closure. These individuals’ downfall from grace will have the audience’s eyes glued to the screen. While morally repulsive, the scandal highlights the bigger issue, specifically in the sheer amount of flaws in higher education. Although every student should have an equal shot, the documentary does an excellent job in exposing how status, money and privilege can play a huge role in the admissions process — and why the system needs to change.
our last boyfriend was manipulative, gaslighting into believing you were not enough. That simple kiss was more than simple; it was your consent that he could go further, even if that was not your intent. Those you told said you must have wanted it if you didn’t push him off, even though he is half a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than you. Jane* was sexually assaulted her junior year. Since then, she cannot handle intimate moments without getting uncomfortable or being wary of men. “I don’t think sexual assault and harassment are taken seriously unless it’s considered rape. I think often it’s overlooked and even blamed on the person who was affected,” Jane* said. “A lot of times people ask, why didn’t you say no? Why didn’t you tell them to leave?” Sexual assault is what most people are used to hearing about when describing sexual violence. It is defined by RAINN as “sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim.” This includes: “attempted rape, fondling or unwanted sexual touching, forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body, and penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape.” Sexual harassment is more common than sexual assault but still just as harmful. It is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Sexual harassment is a broad term that encompasses different types of harassment. Yet gender harassment is the most common form of sexual harassment aimed primarily at women. “I had made it very clear that it not only made me uncomfortable but I wasn’t willing to do that [have sex] just yet. It didn’t matter. He ended up just touching me all over and I couldn’t get him to stop,” Jackie* said. “The
only reason I wasn’t raped that night is because his mom walked in. Nobody knows what happened, but even now I can’t stand to be touched by anyone.” Many women have a story similar to this one but are either too afraid to talk about it or do not know how. The UN released a survey in March 2021, gathering research on 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 24 on their experience with sexual assault. The result was that 97% had experienced any of the behaviors exhibited by sexual harassment including groping, catcalling, receiving unsolicited nudes, etc. Recently social media has taken to the 97% statistic, sharing awareness online. “Reading that statistic made me so sick to my stomach. It also makes me sad that many of the women around me didn’t even realize that they were part of that 97% because many of the components of sexual harassment have been normalized in our society,” Jackie said. The survey only included women living in the UK, but it has gained global traction spreading quickly through Instagram posts and people coming forward about their own stories. A PEW Research Center survey in 2018 was based on the experiences of American women, which represented around 6,251 adults. More than half surveyed said they had faced some form of sexual harassment such as unwanted sexual advances and both verbal and physical harassment of a sexual nature. It may seem like this study produced a drastically lower statistic but realistically the number is still dangerously high. Even if you have not experienced sexual harassment yourself, someone you know has. “In many ways, society is way more aware of the extent of this issue, yet at the same time won’t do anything about it,” senior Natasha Nilsen said. “It does nothing to say ‘don’t rape’ if young men are not taught to behave.”
tely a m oxi
Victim b l a m i n g is one reason why women are afraid to come forward about their experiences. Questions like “what were you wearing?” discourage people from speaking up. “Many women who have reported it don’t win their case because no one believes them. People try to convince the victim it is their fault. It’s terrifying to come forward,” Lisa* said. Victim blaming hinders the willingness of victims to come forward, and so does the idea that they will simply be dismissed after sharing. “I’ve known so many of my friends who refuse to speak out about their experiences due to the fact that they think people won’t believe them,” junior Anna Hawkins said. The 97% trend is not the first to bring light to this issue. The phrase “no means no,” which became popular in 2018, has brought awareness to the organization No Means No Worldwide, which is working towards ending sexual violence against women and children. However, the most recognizable movement was the Me Too movement, which was founded in 2006 by a survivor and activist Tarana Burke and blew up in 2017 with the popular hashtag #metoo. Women all around the world shared their stories, letting those that have experienced similar situations know
d lete at p m co rape life, d r te pted their ng o rep ttem nt in por ti he t a i or e po % re fore e .3 m so ith 81 red b 25. f w ccur e of ta Brie ag 015 Da it o 2
Sexual violence gains media attention thanks to the trending 97% statistic
they are not alone. These movements are important because many girls struggle to understand their own situation. It is easy to separate what is shown in social media from everyday life, and many people do not understand how common and how big of an issue sexual harassment is even in our schools. The statistics only survey women above the age of 18 but many of their experiences started before then. “The main thing was freshman year on campus. I was working on a hoco float and this guy complimented my thighs. I was confused but laughed it off,” Julie* said. “When I turned my back he grabbed my upper thigh, almost my butt, and gripped it. He acted nervous but played it off. I confronted him the next day in front of his friends and they all just yelled at me and called me crazy. I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable.” Women can be sexual harassers and men can harm other men, but that does not mean women should feel uncomfortable coming forward with their experiences. “We always teach girls that it is our fault, that we shouldn’t have acted that way, or should have not worn that dress,” Nilsen said. “Yet in reality, they should be teaching men to keep their hands to themselves, to be respectful, and to understand that no is no.” *Names have been changed upon request.
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How the "97%" stat invalidates victims Skyler Glenn
Assistant News Editor
t’s like buying clothes from Brandy Melville. Their clothes are popular, and everyone has some. Even if the clothes don’t fit well, people will still try to wear them. Sounds like the 97%, right? It shouldn’t. In Jan. 2021, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for UN Women surveyed over 1,000 women from the United Kingdom on their experience with sexual harassment. According to their study, 97% of women aged 18-24 have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their life. According to TikTok, this means that 97% of all people, regardless of age, gender and nationality, have been sexually harassed. This social media movement has done nothing but hurt the true victims of sexual harassment. With each day, the percentage seems to change. It started at 97%, then some argued it was 99%, and many tried to water the statistic down to a smaller 35%. On top of shifting numbers, the definition for sexual harassment seems to get more vague with each day. One viral TikTok stated that “being uncomfortable” around a man was enough to
make one qualify for the 97%. What people fail to acknowledge is that the number is not important — it is the principle of sexual harassment that matters. Anything over 0% is too high, and arguing over what the correct statistic is distracts attention from the real issue. Additionally, the purpose of sexual harassment awareness is not inclusion and one should not feel the desire to be included. Expansion of the “requirements” for sexual harassment makes it less alarming and more normal, thus lessening the severity of the situation. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service of the UK defines sexual harassment as “unwanted behavior of a sexual nature,” while the US Department of State defines it as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Sexual harassment is common enough. Being a victim isn’t trendy. If the narrow-minded users of these platforms dug a little deeper, they would find that an actual 71% of all UK women have had an experience with sexual harassment, and men were not accounted for in the study, nor were women across the globe. Spreading this false information has caused an uproar, and
for all the wrong reasons. An argument won’t help at all. Again, the number isn’t important — ending these occurrences is. It’s sickening to see people treating sexual harassment like a trend. Posting a video saying “Just found out I’m part of the 97%!” is an unhealthy coping mechanism, and could be triggering. These posts often receive millions of likes, and warnings are seldom provided. Being a victim is not cute, fun or quirky. It’s serious, and should be handled as such. Another big issue with this movement is the grouping together of sexual assault and sexual harassment. These occurrences are very different and come with their own set of traumas. Sticking rape and catcalling into one category just doesn’t make sense, and it’s extremely invalidating to both sides. When this happens, harassment and assault victims may feel like their story is insignificant. Both need to be recognized and ended, but they require different actions. There are many ways that the media can be helpful in limiting sexual harassment. Spreading hotlines, safety tips and encouraging words can help women who are struggling to overcome their trauma. Arguing over a number is not the answer; putting an end to this behavior is.
10 Finding a home away from home Sophia Canabal
lifestyles or finances, and the rush to leave home can put unwanted pressure on those who can’t. “I’m most wary of being in the same place while others are somewhere else, but soon enough, I’m going to be moving out too,” Nayak said. Moving out isn’t as jarring if a student has already had a grapple on their independence.
eginning as just a speck on the vast horizon of a typical high school career, the concept of “adulthood” becomes almost tangible as graduation day approaches, and seniors are forced to confront the reality of entering adulthood. Independence marks the beginning of life free of nagging parents, restrictive schedules and the overall inconveniences of being a high school student. Under this pretense, adulthood may sound like the light at the end of a four year-long tunnel, but for some students, life after high school is anything but. Upon moving out, students are met with an onslaught of expectations set by peers and parents. “People give you more responsibility,
and it feels weird,” senior Aren Nayak said. “You’ve been dumped into the real world, and it’s impossible not to miss the past.” Students at Hagerty are highly interconnected, which is partly due to the number of extracurricular activities accessible to students. Nayak has had the opportunity to participate in the debate team for a substantial amount of time, and participating in clubs, sports, and school initiatives are what brought him and other students closer together. This is why leaving the school behind is much more than an unsentimental parting of ways. Even the thought of being left behind in the race away from home is a nerve wracking process for those who are unable to move out straight away because of a lack of preparation
Given the opportunity to have freedom early, students find the transition easier. Like many others, Nayak defines adulthood as a “first step in life” that signifies the beginning of both newfound freedoms and hindering responsibilities, the most common being taxpaying, time management, and cooking. These tasks are commonplace during adulthood, yet are what students are least prepared for during their high school career, and some students move out with almost no knowledge on how to fill out tax forms, pay their mortgage, or outline a simple budgeting plan. “I wish that we had learned more about taxes and finances in high school before moving onto college” UCF sophomore Maya Pommet said. “I’m still struggling to learn those, yet they are an essential part of adulthood.” Recently, students who are planning to leave home and take residency on a college campus have been put under yet another stressor, with Senate Bill 86 threatening to reduce Bright Future’s financial aid. “I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship that covered housing and tuition fees,” Pommet said. “I would be lying if I said it was attainable for everyone but if you get scholarships, have a job, get parental assistance, or some combination of all three, I think it’s doable.” After graduating in 2020, Pommet immediately moved away from home to relish in the opportunities that an independent life would offer her, and she did so with only a few misgivings. Besides encountering struggles in financial management, Pommet has also learned to refine her time management, a skill necessary in order for her to juggle both a job and
college classes at the same time. “Procrastination doesn’t just magically go away in college. You just have to find your limit and not surpass it and allocate your time differently each week according to what you need to get done,” Pommet said. Meeting new people and becoming familiar in new social environments is a struggle, often overlooked when starting adulthood. It takes time for a student to find their place in a foreign setting, whether it be in their large college class or on the unfamiliar street in front of their new apartment. It is especially rare to find a college campus that is as interconnected as a high school’s student body because of the surplus of students. “You have to go out of your way to talk to people instead of relying on teachers to group you in class,” Pommet said. “While it’s great to not have to talk to people you don’t like, it’s hard to make connections with people you do.” Gaining a stable, social footing becomes even more difficult in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions such as mandatory quarantine, virtual learning, and social distancing that might make it difficult for a student to make friends. “Living independently, I feel like loneliness will be a challenge, but I will do my best to combat it. Despite these fears, I will try to
push myself to try new things and meet new people,” senior Tai Markman said. As concerns about the future arise, independence begins to look more like a fatal blow to their stability than a fleeting chance of freedom. The thought of leaving high school and taking off into the unknown territory of independence is slightly unsettling to both Nayak and Markman, solely because of the heartfelt memories and strong friendships that they’ve made at home. “Hagerty is your home, it’s where the good, the bad, and really everything happens, and you have a lot of memories in it and friends too,” Nayak said. “But something [that] helped me get over it is that this is your first step in life, and you are not alone.”
CHAY’S CLOSET Pretty in Pastels
s the weather gets warmer and the end of school draws closer, the stress and tension that builds after excruciating eight-hour days can finally melt away to reveal to first glimpses of actual joy. If this happiness could be defined by a color, it would most certainly be pastel. A nice spring green, sunshine yellow, or a pretty pink will bring a smile to anyone’s face. Pastels are a lighter, toned-down version of colors that are naturally calming and reflective of childhood nostalgia with the bright and inspiring colors of youthful kid’s clothing. With vaccines rolling in, and the cargo ship that was blocking the Suez Canal finally being released, pastels are what we need to lighten the mood. The pastel color trend failed to stick in September, and an attempt to make light colors the newest fad during winter was quickly brushed over as nudes and browns were embraced as the new black and white. Brown, in truth, is an amazing color that almost anyone can pull off, and its recent popularity is well deserved. However, it is time for pastels to take their place under the spotlight. This trend can be found most notoriously in the “kawaii” aesthetic which is known for being“cute,” “happy,” and “positive.” My issue with the dismissal of pastels is that people are missing out on looking like they belong in their favorite childhood cartoons, especially any in the Sanrio world. Hello Kitty and Bloom from “Winx Club” would never be caught dead in a drab, allneutral outfit. Truthfully, pastels are not appropriate for all settings, like a funeral or office, but that should not hinder you from adding more cheerful colors into your everyday wardrobe. Although pastels are not the classic black and white, they match just as easily. The soft hues of pastels can be mixed and matched while still looking monotone. Baby pink with light green, lilac, and yellow, light blue and orange, pastels make it easy to have colorful outfits without having to worry about a clashing color scheme. It is the same with clashing patterns, as the toned-down colors allow you to explore new combinations without looking loud. Pastels have yet to receive the recognition they deserve. After the year we have had, we deserve to see calming and playful colors emerge from the drab fashion seasons of the past. We deserve to be reminded of our childhood when the only issue we faced was whether or not we would be allowed to stay up till 8 p.m. to watch the newest episode of “Fairly Odd Parents.”
SCAN THIS CODE
View a Pinterest board with pastel clothing inspiration that will allow you to radiate happiness and childhood nostalgia.
On the count of
Pitcher Trent Caples has been reliable for Hagerty baseball for three seasons, and will continue to be at Embry-Riddle
n April of 2019, the baseball team was invited to play in the USA Baseball National High School Invitational. Sixteen of the top teams in the nation were invited to participate in the tournament, but a big reason for Hagerty’s invitation was so people could see high school phenomenon Riley Greene, so there were little expectations for the team. When they matched up against Christian Brothers College High School, they faced Christian Little, a starting pitcher who was committed to Vanderbilt University. It was a long shot for Hagerty until former head coach Matt Cleveland gave number 6 the ball. Senior Trent Caples dominated the mound, holding CBC to one run, winning 11-1, their only win in Cary. In less than one season, the “new kid” on varsity cemented himself as the ace for the team, dominating his opponents. In his sophomore season, Caples went 11-1, with a 1.031 earned run average and 45 strikeouts. “I told [coach] Cleveland before my sophomore season that if you give me the ball, I will win the game for us,” Caples said. He has struck out opponents with his array of pitches, throwing a fourseam fastball, two-seam fastball, changeup and curveball. Caples throws his fastball 85-88 miles per hour, which is in the 88th percentile of his class, according to PerfectGame.org. He throws other pitches like his curveball to throw hitters’ timing off during an at-bat, which generated success in his sophomore season under Cleveland. “His breaking ball is very good, so it is something to be ready for. He can get you out with that and he can spot a fastball at any time,” Cleveland said. Caples has continued to develop his repertoire with his pitching coach, Alex House. They work on mental and physical purpose and maintaining consistency to everything they do. “If we want to be great at pitching, we have to learn how to make adjustments fast,” House said. Prior to his current success, Caples started playing baseball in his local church league, and fell in love with the game. He would transition into Oviedo Little League then Oviedo Babe Ruth, where he learned to pitch. “My coach started to need pitchers and I told myself I will try it. I was a big kid with a big arm, so I got lessons to learn pitches like a fastball, changeup and slider. It has stuck with me ever since then,” Caples said. The further he got into the travel ball community, the more opportunities he had. In the summer of 2015 he traveled to Cooperstown, New York to participate in the Cooperstown Dreams Park Baseball tournament, one of the biggest 12U baseball events in the country. In their final pool play game, the team was facing elimination and had to win in order to advance to the playoff bracket, and Caples was called in to close the game. His save sent the team to bracket play where they finished 26th.
Six years later, his overall high school ERA is a 0.82 with 82 strikeouts and a 13-2 overall record, and he is committed to play at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall. For Caples, it was an easy decision as the campus is an hour from his parents, who have dedicated time and money for Caples’ travel baseball seasons, coaches and equipment “without skipping a beat.” “I want to be that guy that makes millions of dollars so I can tell my parents they can retire now, and I owe them that,” Caples said. His dad has also played a major role in Caples’ training and practice routine by holding him accountable to stay on a schedule. Though it was tough at times, Caples understands why. “I want to tell my dad to just let me be a kid, but I know being a student-athlete is not being a normal kid sometimes with all the work we put in,” Caples said. Sacrifices include 5 a.m. workouts and missing out on Friday night events to stay on top of schoolwork and pursue his goal of becoming a professional baseball player. Head coach Mike Sindone noticed his eagerness to learn and get better when he became the head coach two years ago. According to Sindone, it is what allows him to continue to develop Caples into the pitcher he is because of how hard he works. He is always putting time in outside of practice to work out, throw, and even lead his fellow teammates when he can. One of the misconceptions of being a good pitcher is that you throw as hard as you can. While Sindone acknowledges that can be fun, his goal for Caples is to be successful. “Trent has the ability to throw harder than he does, however, we have focused on him doing what he does best, getting outs,” Sindone said. “Although [throwing hard] is nice, pitching isn’t about just throwing hard. It is about executing your pitches by location and Trent has worked hard to learn this, and is now mentoring others in our program to do the same.” Even though he is a leader for the pitching staff, Caples has a quirky side that Sindone and his teammates see, including his game day routine. Every day Caples starts, he makes the drive to Huey Magoos after school and orders a five-piece grilled tender meal with honey mustard and french fries. He wears the same underwear, the same socks, listens to the same music and drinks the same drink: Sprite. When game time gets closer, he does the same stretches, throws to the same spot with the same person, and gets ready for the first pitch. “After I warm up, I take my hat off, put a towel on my head and drink water, then Gatorade, put my hat back on, tie my cleats and head back out there,” Caples said. “I tried it for the first time sophomore year and I stuck to it because I saw wins coming out of it.” The routine led to one of the best pitching performances of his career, a no hitter, 4-0 win against Oviedo in the last game of the COVID-19-ruined season. It was Caples’ first no-hitter in high school. “I was walking out there telling myself to aim for perfection because this might be the final game of the season,” Caples said. “I was on cloud nine, I felt like I did the impossible. Now, with more momentum than ever and a young, powerful lineup, he is ready to take his team all the way. “I want to win it all this year,” Caples said.
“If you give me the ball, I will win the game for us.” - pitcher Trent Caples
12 Boys volleyball second at St. Cloud Karson Cuozzo
uring the St. Cloud volleyball tournament on March 27, setter Brian Camacho had 80 assists, outside hitter Justin Conway had 33 kills and outside hitter Adam Gray had 18 kills. Behind these strong performances, the team took second place at the St. Cloud Tournament. The team won three of the four games they played, beating St. Cloud, Harmony and Seminole to take them to the championship against Bishop Moore. They lost to Bishop Moore in the championship 2-0. One of the games that stood out that
MAKE THE PASS Middle blocker Brendan Whitworth looks on as libero Brandon Bakenhester digs the attack from Lake Brantley. The team is 5-3 on the season. photo By Maggie Taylor
tournament was the game against Seminole. Other than the loss to Bishop Moore, they won every set leading up to that game, them being the only team that took them to three sets. “Seminole was one game when we all gave our best effort and we ended up winning because of that,” libero Giancarlo Rodriguez said. The team has multiple senior leaders on the team who have played a favor in many of their wins. Two of the best seniors are Conway with 141 kills on the season so far, and Gray with 96 kills. The team went over game plans and addressed weaknesses during practice, so they felt prepared. “Based on how we had been playing up to that point, I felt confident we would have a good showing,” head coach Troy Buis said. “Coming in second was a really good outcome for us.” After the tournament, the team kept momentum going, defeating Harmony and Seminole 3-0 and 3-1, respectively, in their regular season schedule. “Our game plan against Seminole was to serve and receive better than we did the first time against them so we could run our entire offense,” Buis said. They accomplished their game plan and Camacho led the team with 36 assists, along with Gray scoring 18 kills and two aces. “Our passing was on point, we served tough, our hitting was amazing, and our energy was through the roof from first to last point,” Camacho said. This leaves the team at 5-3 on their regular season. Their next game is April 15 at Oviedo High School. “This may be one of the best seasons the boys volleyball program has ever had,” Buis said. The team has had a good season so far, and with nine top performing seniors stronger, they have a chance to go far this season,” Buis said.
SPORT SHORTS Girls lacrosse wins SAC title
On Thursday, Apr. 8, the girls lacrosse team secured the SAC title after defeating Lake Brantley 12-1, capping off their undefeated conference play. Midfielder Carly Bitner led the team to the win with two goals and four caused turnovers. As for the team’s season, they went 11-6 and 4-0 in the district. The district tournament will be hosted at Sam Momary Stadium on Apr. 13 and April 15. “We have been undefeated [in the SAC] for five years, and it shows growth from our team because at the beginning of the season we struggled with team chemistry,” Bitner said. “We made a big turn toward better team chemistry and teamwork.”
Baseball defeats Lake Brantley
The baseball team was able to hold down home field on Tuesday, April 6 against Lake Brantley 5-3. Garrett Bauman started the night on the mound, throwing 4.1 innings and relief pitcher Talen Bell pitching the remaining 2.2 innings in the contest. They had seven and five strikeouts, respectively. This brings their record to 9-9, after a very slow 0-7 start to the season. Left fielder Bryce Fitzgerald, shortstop Austin Jacobs and right fielder Chase Chapman were responsible for the teams’ four RBIs. “Some of the things [Lake Brantley] said didn’t sit well with me, and it motivated me to win and help my team out in some way, which I did,” Bell said.
Tennis wins SAC, goes undefeated
On Thursday, April 8, the boys tennis team secured the school’s first SAC championship in school history. C.J. Ellis, Nikhil Shanbhag and Noah Santiago Walsh were top players in a 4-3 win against Lake Mary, clenching the undefeated season, 11-0. This is also the first time the tennis team has gone undefeated in the regular season. They will play in the district championships April 12-13 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs. “Our team is usually in the middle of the pack in the SAC, so being the top team is unfamiliar territory to me and the team,” Ellis said. “We only lost one senior from last year’s team, so experience was really valuable.”
sports ATHLETE OF THE ISSUE who
Scored five goals
John Courier Field
On Mon. March 29, freshman Ellie Wilkins dominated the Oviedo girls lacrosse team with a 12-1 win at John Courier Field. She scored five goals in the contest, most of any player in the night. She was able to capitalize on Oviedo’s defensive tendencies by recognizing that Oviedo was not sending slides to defend, giving her multiple opportunities to shoot on goal. To add to goals, she assisted Hannah Thomas from her free position shot due to a foul on the other team. “I realized their goalie was pretty good at saving high shots so I had to start shooting low,” Wilkins said.
Track teams place top 5 in SAC Matthew Dearolph
he track and field team ended the regular season at the conference championship meet at Lake Brantley on Thursday, April 8. The boys took third place overall and the girls finished in fifth place. The meet started at noon with the 4x800 relay and Hagerty finished second. Field events started at 1:30 p.m. with track events starting at 4:30 p.m. Different from other track meets, the SAC championship meet is a “points meet” where runners are doubled, even tripled up, in events. Brayden Seymour tripled up in the 3200, the 1600 and 4x800 relay, and he placed second in all events. “We focus on getting the most points this meet from postseason as it helps the school ranking in sports, and that sometimes requires runners to be tripled up in events,” long distance coach Jay Getty said. “This also helps us gauge our runners’ fitness and what events they will run for districts next meet.” To prepare, the speed workouts became more intense, with long distance runners doing four reps of speed workout instead of their usual three, and short distance runners including running stairs into their practice. The meet had multiple personal records broken, and even top 10 school records set. The girls put up an impressive show with Molly McGrath PRing in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.60 seconds, placing her second in the school record books. She also broke into the 400 meter top 10 with a time of 1:01:36 running the 400 meter for only the third time in her high school career. “I feel great to be so close to breaking the 100 meter record,” McGrath said. “I was worried about running the 400 as I haven’t
ran it many times, and I’m trying to work on finishing strong the last 150 meters before districts next week.” Despite falling in the 100 meter hurdles and injuring her shin, Ziann Facey PRed in the 300 meter hurdles, tied for third for the 300 meter hurdle school record. For girls field events, javelin thrower Emily Hanus PRed for a throw of 56’. On the boys side, Jonathan Leon, who already broken into the top ten for the 3200 meter, also finally broke into the top ten for the 1600 meter with a time 4:39:15 minutes. “It’s a really good feeling being able to as a freshman get into the top ten for the mile and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can do it again in districts,” Leon said. For boys field events, Parker Douglass and Porthos Sattler have both continued this season to break the javelin school record and push each other to do it again, as both PRed in the javelin. They broke the school record once again, with Douglass getting a 125’9” and Sattler got a 120’4”. Sophomore Neiken Ngyuyen broke into the top ten this meet for the first time in triple jump with a jump of 38’8.25”. As the team heads into districts the dynamic shifts as the coaches look at individual athletes to see who can continue on to regionals as only the top four in each event qualify for regionals. With Seminole placing in first for boys and Lake Mary placing in first for girls the meet showed which runners have a chance of making it past districts. “We are focusing on the opportunities we have now with who has a chance to make it to regionals and possibly states,” track coach Matthew Malkovich said. “We are trying this week to keep our players healthy and rested for districts, and to hopefully get some of our injured runners back.”