The BluePrint - Volume 6, Issue 2

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Game over. Students balance schoolwork with video game play.

Hagerty High School

news....................2 lifestyles..............3 middle.................6 opinions...............8 sports.................10



Without limits. Athletes are driven to succeed despite disabilities.

3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, Florida 32765

What’s inside


think pink

volume 6 issue 2 november 1, 2010

News bites Homecoming parade: The homecoming parade is on Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. The parade will go up and down Lockwood Blvd. The parking lots will be closed at noon and students will not be allowed to check out after this time. Homecoming dance: The homecoming dance will be held on Nov. 6 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Semi-formal dress is required. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

photo by jack schwartz

Hypnotist comedy show: The hypnotist show is scheduled for Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Tickets will be sold during lunch for $5 and at the door for $6. Blackboard update: On Nov. 5, Blackboard will be unavailable for one hour while the students’ passwords are converted. The new passwords are students’ birthdates: YYYYMMDD. College visits: The next college visits will be on Nov. 8 for DeVry University and Nov. 11 for Keiser University. Only seniors may go on the Keiser University visit. Students who wish to attend need to pick up their passes in the College and Career Room two days prior to the visit. Junior ring ceremony: The ring ceremony will be on Dec. 2 at 8 a.m. in the auditorium. Juniors who bought a ring from a company other than Herff Jones but would still like to participate, can email Tonya_Manderville@scps.k12.

Husky poll

photo by dsp

photo by dsp

photo by dsp

Throughout the month of October, students and faculty showed support for breast cancer awareness at football games and around campus.

School unites to fight breast cancer Sarah Casagrande


staff reporter n a Monday afternoon in early October, several girls from the National Art Honor Society walked into Kari Miller’s Spanish classroom and asked for the leadership class’ instructions. “As much pink as you can,” senior leadership member Erin Dunne said, as she handed them a bucket of chalk. The next day, the amphitheater was covered in their designs, all with the same meaning: fight breast cancer. “Creating our idea was really easy,” junior NAHS member Casey Miller said. “We felt that ‘Pinktober’ [spelled out in chalk] with the ribbon replacing the O was what we wanted to be most noticeable.” This was one of the many things done by students to help raise money. The fundraiser, called Pinktober, was held in the month of October to raise money and spread awareness about breast cancer. The student leadership class wanted to raise awareness after they attended a countywide leadership meeting, and chose breast cancer awareness as their semester community service project.

“The students were inspired by what some of the other schools were doing,” K. Miller said. In order to raise money, the leadership students had to go out to local businesses and have people sponsor them by donating money. They used the money to buy t-shirts, wristbands, and other ‘pink’-themed items to sell to students.

“I had a lot of pride in my students and for the community that we are a part of.” -Kari Miller

Many people pitched in to help with the fundraising. Project Graduation’s monthly cupcake sales featured cupcakes adorned with ribbons and pink frosting, and the junior class set up several plastic jars in the cafeteria, one for each grade, for students to drop their loose change. The biggest event of the fundraiser was the nationally televised ESPN game against Winter Springs on Oct. 8. The

leadership class set up a booth outside the football stadium and sold the pink t-shirts in an attempt to ‘pink out the stadium.’ “We could be wearing our black and blue just like every other high school,” senior class president Nikki Havey said, “but if people see the extent that we took this to, I feel like this makes the biggest statement.” Almost 1000 shirts were sold at the football game alone, and many other people brought their own pink t-shirts to wear. Winter Springs High also sold pink shirts, so both sides of the stadium were covered in pink. “It was very emotional,” K. Miller said. “I had a lot of pride in my students and for the community that we are a part of.” In the end, all of the fundraising money was donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation in an effort to help fight breast cancer. “You can’t talk to somebody who hasn’t been affected by breast cancer,” K. Miller said. “Everybody you talk to knows somebody who has or has had it, and it’s one of those very personal diseases that is killing hundreds of thousands of women.”

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Issue 2

Pups begin new year


Matthew Neveras

They have lunch in the afternoon and after staff reporter that, recess on the playground outside the inger painting, snack time, group preschool room. The preschoolers do art, song; these are all activities that one science, math and other learning activities. would not usually expect to find at Also, in each period the students get into a high school. But there is one class where groups with the children and play a game all of these activities are more than just or learn a song together. The only way for these activities to go as planned is with the allowed, they are recommended. Students in the Early Childhood proper coordination. “Teaching is not nearly as easy as some Education levels II-V class help to run the campus preschool, which allows students people think,” Golden said. “If you don’t to get hands-on experience in a teaching take the time to plan a good lesson, then the kids are going to be really hard to environment with real children. Jenny Burrell is the preschool’s director control and keep occupied.” While all of the students do their and while she may be the one supervising part in running the the program, the preschool, each level students create “All of the kids have really has a different job. the lesson plans, different personalities, but “We have coordinate activities different jobs that and plan snacks. The they’re usually a lot of fun change weekly so three to five year-olds and easy to get along with.” we can get an idea did not even arrive -Becky Golden of what it would be until the second like to be a childcare quarter due to the amount of planning required and will professional,” Czelusniak said. “One week we could be teaching a small group a math attend until May. “I’m really looking forward to being lesson, and another be a director and make called a teacher,” level II student Emily sure the teachers are doing what they need to be doing.” Czelusniak said. Students not only enjoy the class, they In the level one class, students are not working with the children, so this was level also enjoy getting to know the preschoolers. “All of the kids have really different II students’ first year working with the children. They had to learn the proper way personalities, but they’re usually a lot of fun to plan out their lessons, so they could be and easy to get along with,” Golden said. ECE students hope that they will experienced like the higher level students. “Our lessons need to be planned out, gain the skills required for their desired and the preschool needs to be cleaned profession as they continue to learn more and organized,” level III student Becky about how to work with children. “I hope the children leave here prepared Golden said. Like many of the students enrolled in to go on to kindergarten, and I hope the the ECE classes, Golden hopes this will high school students leave with a greater help prepare her for a career with children. understanding of how young children Children arrive at the beginning of learn and what it takes to be a teacher,” third period and have their morning snack. Burrell said.


highlight Hunter Todd • Todd actively partcipates in

Mixed Marial Arts, a full-contact sport that combines a variety of fighting techniques.

• Initially Todd practiced with his coach just on weekends. As Todd’s interest in the sport increased, he began to set up fights more frequently.

• Similar to other athletes, Todd feels

photo taken by sarah casagrande

nervous before the start of his fights. However, when he and his opponents touch gloves, it is “game time.”

• One of Todd’s more serious injuries includes a broken nose while fighting a friend.

• Todd has to eat a strict diet full

of protein, complex carbohydrates and dietary supplements.


“I want people to hear my name and not want to go against me.”

compiled by kristin krawczyk


November 1 , 2010


Sabrina Chehab


co-lifestyles editor t is 5 a.m, and senior Alex DeAlba cannot keep his eyes open. After 10 straight hours of game play, his face is masked in the faint blue glow of his computer. While his head slowly approaches the keyboard, he mumbles strange things to his fellow online gaming friends. All-nighters occur a little too easily for those who play video games, and often end up turning class time into nap time. This was what DeAlba’s junior year was like. When the massively multiplayer online role-playing game AION came out, he could not leave his computer. And his grades suffered. “I saw my grades starting to drop,” DeAlba said. “So I forced myself to quit [the game] and got my life back on track.” Such is the case with other students, who now use the weekends to catch up on game time. Senior Caty Kerkove has traded sleep for play, and sophomore Eric Anschuetz has avoided bed time completely. On the website Steam, a PC gaming database, he can easily invest late hours with friends. “I’ve stayed up playing until 5 a.m. before,” Anschuetz said. “It was a sleepover, so [my friends and I] played all night, starting from 7 p.m. the night before.” Some may find the attraction to gaming questionable. A mere four days after Halo: Reach was released, the total

online play-time amounted to 2,300 years, according to Why invest so much time? “I like inviting my friends over and playing split screen,” sophomore Carter Richard said. “It’s kind of what built our friendship.” As a form of entertainment, gaming can form friendships and bring people together. Kind of like bingo. Kerkove enjoys spending long hours taunting others online; in the MMORPG Maginogi, players from around the globe can interact with each other. “I can meet other people around the world anonymously,” Kerkove said. “I can be mean, too, and all I have to do is get on my ostrich and run away!” And time gets carried away. For some students, the addiction started at an early age and simply continued as they grew up. Outside influences, such as family and friends, fueled the attraction. “My dad loves video games so much, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t playing,” Anschuetz said. Without this influence, exposure to game play would not have been possible.

Learning through adoption

Sohani Kasireddy


co-news editor cross the nation, teenagers are excited by the word “eighteen”. This number signifies the moment at which these young adults gain their desired freedom. Some individuals look forward to this day with even greater anticipation as they gain the legal rights to meet their birth parents. Children who are adopted at birth have the opportunity to obtain their birth parents’ contact information once they have attained the age of 18. According to the US Department of Health and Human services, 12 percent of adopted people look for their birth parents at least once in their lifetime. Seniors Sally Regentine, Kristen Lichtenthal and sophomore Colleen Ruzich were adopted through a preplanned process. This process gives adoptive parents complete responsibility as guardians as soon as the child is born. Regentine has a brother who is also adopted but from different biological parents. Both Regentine and her brother do not have any contact with their respective biological parents. However, she would like to know who her parents are along with whereabouts but she is not interested in meeting them. “I don’t feel right just barging into [my birth parents’] lives and saying I am their daughter,” Regentine said. Like Regentine, Lichtenthal also has a brother from other biological parents. Lichtenthal, who has recently turned eighteen, will be requesting her biological parents’ contact information from the adoption agency. She is interested in meeting her birth parents and finding out about another side of her life. Lichtenthal recalls piecing together the story of her

adoption from the age of five to when she was 16. “You have a second side to your entire life, a secret life almost,” Lichtenthal said. “It’s [like] a mystery, a story you will find out later in life. Ruzich, however, has been in contact with both her biological parents since the time of her birth. She talks to them often via Facebook, phone calls and emails. In addition she visits them along with her halfbrothers and sisters once every few years. Ruzich describes knowing she was adopted from early on in her childhood; there was no specific instance at which learned of her adoption. “I like having two sets of parents, it makes me feel different and it’s like I get twice the love,” Ruzich said. The process to adopt a child before they are born is lengthy. In fact, adoptive parents may not receive full legal rights as parents until the child is almost two or three years of age, as in the case of Lichtenthal. Some individuals have been through this lengthy process with their parents. They have experienced a lifestyle with and without an adopted sibling. Senior Bethany Projahn has a younger sister who was adopted from Russia. Prior to her sister’s adoption, Projahn had been the only girl in her family. She received all of the attention, but with the adoption of her sister, Projahn came to terms with concept of sharing her room and her parents’ attention. “We fight, make up and have fun just like any other siblings do, and I am just so happy to have her in my life,” Projahn said. Thousands of children are born into the word every second; however, only a few are adopted at birth. These few will ultimately decide if they will meet the people who once gave birth to them or not.

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illustration by sabrina chehab and justin moser

“I have a lot of relatives in Japan, and [Pokemon] became really popular over there,” Richard said. “I remember getting these weird monster-things for presents.” Age is a relative factor in determining the enjoyment of game play. According to, 32 is the age of the average gamer. It cannot be forgotten that parents are included in this statistic.

“My family doesn’t complain about [my gaming] because my dad plays World of Warcraft for, like, six hours a day,” Kerkove said. So the addiction is carried into later stages of life. Video games present a type of parallel universe to those who play them, according to Regular life may be too stressful or too dull, and games provide a more exciting existence.

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Issue 2


Physics teacher makes up for “lost time”

Sam Salinas


staff reporter moke from a cigarette, the smell of coffee, a few flashing lightsthese are just a few ways seizures can be provoked. These “triggers” can be anything, usually the most common occurrences. Like most people living with epilepsy, physics teacher Matthew Myrick must be aware of all his triggers, unless he wants to bring about another episode. Epilepsy, also known as the “seizure disorder”, affects the nervous system. Shocks of electrical activity surge from one area of the brain, the complex, to the nerves, affecting the rest of the body. There are different levels of severity concerning the seizures, some worse than others. Myrick does not live with the seizures typically seen on television where the individual shakes and falls to the ground. He has what is called partial complex, where it seems as if he has just spaced out, and “lost time.” Whenever he had a seizure, in class or in his daily routine, he never knew that a seizure occurred. “To me, it just felt as if time had passed,” Myrick said. “The only difference was that my body felt drained, like I was really tired.” Seizures from epilepsy can be related to a previous brain injury, or a family tendency. As for Myrick, he was diagnosed with a small mass lesion, or tumor, that doctors believed to be the cause of his epilepsy. “I found out about it in my senior year in college, and I guess I had been showing neurological signs that I couldn’t detect,”

Myrick said. A life with epilepsy is not an easy task. Even the simplest of activities in his daily life can be dangerous. “I got into a car accident once, caused by an episode,” Myrick said. There are many restrictions that Myrick must deal with. “You can’t swim by yourself, go jogging or exercise by yourself because you have to be careful, even at night so that you don’t suffocate yourself in a pillow or blanket,” Myrick said. “I grew up in a beach community, so not being able to swim was hard.” The prospect of surgery to get rid of the seizures was a great relief. Myrick had his surgery in the June of 2010. “I felt excited to do the surgery,” Myrick said. “You’re not scared, but eager about what the possible outcome might be.” With epileptic patients, most doctors will want the surgery done immediately. If it is not too severe, they will watch their patient with various checkups. Myrick took medication to help with the seizures before he chose to have any kind of surgery. The thought of possible memory and vision loss affected Myrick’s decision. His surgery lasted about six hours. “The worst part about recovery was being sick, even though I was only in the hospital for two days,” Myrick said. Myrick spent the first day in intensive care. Then he was allowed to rest at the hospital for the last 24 hours until he was let out. While he recovered he became sick to his stomach, and lost some of his sight, mostly from a swollen brain.

photo by jem mason Physics teacher Matthew Myrick times his student’s bottle rocket. “My sight returned gradually after he will not experience an episode. Still, there can always be a chance the surgery, but now my medications give me ‘tip of the tongue’ syndrome,” that the epilepsy could come back. For Myrick said. “Sometimes it’s hard to now, Myrick lives with the hope that the surgery worked. process even the simplest words.” “Even though I haven’t had an Myrick often gets tongue-tied, and most medications for his epilepsy, episode for a while, there’s no guarantee or recover from epilepsy, have that effect that they won’t come back,” Myrick said. on him. Their purpose is to ensure that “Anything’s possible.”


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November 1, 2010


Types of



Vegans Strict vegetarians who do not eat meat of any kind, eggs, dairy products or processed goods containing any animal-derived ingredients, such as gelatin.

A life without meat

Kristin Krawczyk


business manager cience teacher Marc Pooler remembers the day he became a vegetarian. “The last thing I ate was buffalo chicken wings. It was a really bad batch, and a vein swung down and started swinging in front of me and I was like ‘Alright, I’m done’,” Pooler, who has been a vegetarian for 10 years, said. Every vegetarian has his or her own reason to stop the consumption of meat. Many choose vegetarianism to protest the unethical treatment of the animals. Others follow family virtues or want to live a healthier lifestyle. Some people, like Pooler, have certain events that change their views of meat. “People don’t realize that by the time they go buy their steak at Publix that most of the animals are not grazing like the sticker on the packaging shows you,” Pooler said. According to www.clearbluerecords. com, approximately 20,000 different drugs, such as growth hormones and antibiotics, are given to animals to make them available for human consumption at a faster rate. This is just one of the health benefits cited by vegetarians. “[Becoming a vegetarian] made me more health-conscious and creative with my eating habits,” guidance counselor Cristinal Strassel said. Strassel became a vegetarian 22 years ago after dissecting a fetal pig in freshman biology. Most vegetarians choose the lifestyle for a combination of reasons.

Technology is another motivation for people to become vegetarians. Television shows or Internet clips, like the infamous “Meet Your Meat” video on www., describe the process of how meat is made, which includes the slaughter of animals. Others are inspired by a challenge. “A girl was like ‘Hey, I bet you can’t [be a vegetarian] for a month’ and I’m like, ‘I bet you’re wrong’,” senior Kris Ryan, who has been a vegetarian for 18 months, said. “I just didn’t stop once I started because I felt like I was saving the world.” Although it is difficult to receive protein through a vegetarian diet, there are supplementary products available. Many vegetarians buy products from Morning Star Farms, a company that produces fake meat products for vegetarians. Junior Mackenzie Geiger, who has been a vegetarian for two and a half years, claims that the “fake” chicken actually tastes like real chicken. Most families who are not vegetarians have to make accomodations for their child’s needs and cook separate meals for dinner. Four and a half years ago, senior Sydney Topor learned the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle and decided to change her eating habits. “When I first became a vegetarian, I lost 25 pounds. Being a vegetarian, you are forced to eat fruits and vegetables to get more nutrients because you can’t live off of processed stuff,” Topor said. “I feel a lot better since I became a vegetarian.”


Vegetarians who only eat fresh fruit.


Vegetarians who do not eat pork, beef, poultry, fish, or animal flesh of any kind, but do consume eggs and dairy products.


Vegetarians who refrain from eating all types of meat except fish.


Vegetarians who eat poultry, such as chicken, turkey and duck, but no other type of animal flesh and meat.


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page 6

Issue 2


It is just like marijuana, but more intense. Its side effects are unknown. And it is growing in popularity.


Popul Jacob Calloway

co-sports editor llegal in countries around the world, including Germany, France, Canada, Chile, Brazil and even the Netherlands, but legal in the U.S? A new drug known as spice is sold in tobacco shops, hookah bars, liquor stores and gas stations, and it is a growing trend among teenagers. The main ingredient in most spice is a synthetic cannabinoid called JWH-018. A cannabinoid is the compound in a substance that connects to the receptors in the brain to create the “high” effect experienced while smoking spice. JWH-018 was made in a Clemson University laboratory by Professor John W. Huffman, an organic chemist. The original purpose behind making JWH-018 was to produce a simple compound for research purposes. At the nationwide level, The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has not yet banned spice, but has labeled it a “drug of concern.” In Florida, the Drug Policy Advisory Council has pressured legislature to add spice to the state’s list of illegal drugs. With 1,259 national spicerelated cases reported to


New drug draws in Robyn Smith


graphic from

managing editor

t is not your mother’s spice. Rather, this spice can be found in the pipes and joints of drug users. But unlike its drug counterparts, spice is legal and easily attainable. Relatively unknown to most people not already involved in drugs, spice has become popular as a recreational drug, especially for teenagers. Because it does not show up on drug tests and is readily available, it is more appealing than more common drugs. The drug produces a high similar to the one from marijuana, and is smoked through the same method. “You feel like you’re detached from everything. Everything just feels more abstract, like you’re in a different world,” senior Jack said. Some side effects are

common among users, such as increased hunger. However, spice produces different feelings in different people. Some people report their behavior as spacey or confused, while others think that the high from spice only makes things funnier or happier. “It takes your bad feelings and makes them good feelings. And it takes your good feelings and makes them even better feelings,” senior Fred said. “Everything’s better. Food, music, and visual stimulation are all enhanced a lot.” The people who use spice describe it as a more intense weed-high. It produces the same effects, just stronger. However, more dangerous health risks are associated with the more powerful high. Like the good parts of spice, the negative effects vary, but generally include vomiting, paranoia, elevated

heart rate, hall blackouts and co “When I got re I would be sit and from eye lev be totally n everything belo shaking rapidl Jamal said. “My feel like they w at an extreme ra weren’t moving.” Health proble the only bad t accompany spi describe themsel functional when a weed-high stil smoker to be ac does not. One us smoking spice more stressed and cranky. “The downs are the worst said. “You get d you smoke a lot. sucks. And then smoke more.” As shown by intense side eff


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November 1, 2010

lar drug is legal, deadly the American Association of Poison Control Centers this year compared to 14 last year, spice is a growing trend teenagers need to be aware of. Spice is frequently paralleled to marijuana. Although the chemical structure of JWH-018 is very different than that of THC, the major ingredient in marijuana, they both produce very similar effects when smoked. Side effects generally include increased heart rate, drowsiness and increased appetite, known as the munchies. The second major difference between spice and other more commonly known street drugs is that spice is not sold as a catalyst for getting high. Spice products are sold as ‘incense,’ used to burn for spiritual purposes, not for direct inhalation. Sold under brand names such as “K2,” “Sence,” “Yucatan Fire,” “Skunk” or “Genie,” most packages specifically say “not for human consumption.” This puts spice in the same category as other substances that are abused in order to get high, such as computer duster, glue or paint, all of which are inhaled. Another unique feature of spice is that it is extremely

potent. To achieve the desired “high” most users are looking for, not a large amount of spice is needed. “Incense is much more potent than regular drugs,” junior Rod said. “When compared to drugs that most teens use recreationally, such as marijuana, in terms of potency, spice is much more potent. It’s also more dangerous though, because it is a fake chemical.” Although particularly potent, the effects of spice only last an hour or so. However, the short life of spice may not be a good thing. Once the high wears down and the users smokes again, the side effects do not refuel the old ones that died down. Instead they build upon the original dosage that is still in the user’s system, even though they cannot feel the effects. Some doctors have suggested that this effect is the leading factor in spicerelated deaths, as well as long-term side effects that might be caused by spice. Because spice is a relatively new drug, little research on its long-term side effects has been done. Doctors cannot say for sure how much damage it could potentially do to the body.

JWH-018 is added to spice to stimulate the CB1cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the same action the THC in marijuana takes when inhaled. However, the JHW-018 makes up for less than three percent of spice compounds. What makes spice dangerous is that the remaining 97 percent of the compound is unregulated because it is technically sold as “incense”, and not directly for human consumption. This fact accounts for why spice is more hazardous than it otherwise would be. Unlike common grocery store food or soda machine beverages, spice has no list of ingredients. This is legal because spice was not manufactured to be consumed in the first place. Without a visible list of ingredients, companies who produce spice are at liberty to add anything they desire to the remaining 97 percent of the mixture. Because spice is not made for human consumption, companies who produce it are not going to be concerned with the safety of its ingredients. They are more likely to be concerned with cutting costs to increase their profit, which is done by making the cheapest herb blend possible before coating it with the JWH-018. With all the health risks

involved, one of the key selling points of spice is that it is an easily attainable substitute for people who are drug-tested. Neither state-administered drug tests nor commercialpharmacy sold tests are capable of recognizing the JWH-018 compound. The reputation of spice as a “legal high” has been seen as a reason to smoke it over other less potentially harmful drugs. However, two companies, Dominion Diagnostics and NMS labs have both developed new technology to accurately test for the presence of synthetic compounds such as JWH-018. There are unique differences between spice and other drugs. In the legal aspect, spice has been banned in 11 states. But where the state governments fail to take charge, local legislators can take the initiative to ban spice. For example, although legal in the state of Texas, 35 cities have banned spice within their jurisdiction. It is still legal in the state of Florida. To date, only Polk County officials have banned spice within their jurisdiction. The ruling was made on Oct. 26 and made sales, not possesion, illegal.

n students

lucinations, onvulsions. eally spicy, tting there vel up would normal, but ow would be ly,” senior y legs would were running ate but they ” ems are not things that ice. Users lves as not high. While ll allows the ctive, spice ser says that made them out, angry

afterwards part,” Fred depressed if . Everything you want to

y the more fects, spice

is much stronger than more commonly used drugs, such as tobacco or marijuana. It does not take as much of it to get high, but the effects wear off in a shorter amount of time. It is also worse for users than other drugs because it is a man-made chemical drug instead of a natural drug. “Not for human consumption” is even printed on the packaging to discourage the recreational use of it. “When I don’t do it, I feel a lot clearer,” junior Rob said. “I feel like I have my life together.” Because spice is not addictive, users have said that quitting is relatively easy to do. “I haven’t smoked in a while,” Rob said. “I realized it can be pretty unhealthy for you. I’ve heard scary stories about kids overdosing on it and I didn’t want that to happen to me.”

*Names were changed in order to protect the privacy of individuals.

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opinions Locker distribution stressful Issue 2

Mehak Rahman

Hagerty High School

3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, FL 32765 Telephone: (407) 871-0750 Fax: (407) 871-0817 Email: hhsblueprint@gmailcom

The Blue Print is a studentproduced newspaper published six times a year in which the student editors make all content decisions. The newspaper belongs to the National Scholastic Press Association and the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Opinions expressed within the newspaper do not represent the staff’s view as a whole, and do not reflect the opinions of Seminole County Public Schools, the school board, or Hagerty High School’s administration and staff. Some material courtesy of American Society of Newspaper Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service. Letters to the editor are encouraged, but cannot be anonymous. Please submit to email, Brit Taylor’s mailstaff box or to room 6-201. For more information about advertising in the paper, please contact the staff via one of the methods listed above. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement. Principal Sam Momary Adviser Brit Taylor Editor-in-Chief Kaitlan Aries Managing Editor Robyn Smith News Editors Sohani Kasireddy Justin Moser Lifestyles Editors Sabrina Chehab Jem Mason Opinions Editor Kait Moorman Sports Editors Jacob Calloway Scott Strauss Graphics Editor Jacob Calloway Photos Editor Jem Mason Business Manager Kristin Krawczyk Staff Reporters Sarah Casagrande Sean Donovan Meagan Galczak Matthew Neveras Mehak Rahman Sam Salinas Jack Schwartz


staff reporter uring the first few hectic weeks of school, many problems arise regarding everything from textbooks to schedules. Among the issues that need to be addressed at the beginning of the school year are locker problems. The current locker assignment system is inefficient and affects students negatively throughout the entire school year. Many students experience situations in which the placement of their locker is troublesome and inconvenient. One problem is students being assigned a locker that is further away than a majority of their classes. Students must plan locker trips in correlation with each block day, or they have to use another student’s locker in a more ideal location. Both these alternatives are neither time efficient nor appealing. This arrangement is stressful for both students and teachers. Students in this situation frequently arrive to class late depending on traffic issues or prior class locations. Also, through shared usage of another student’s locker, the chance of one or both of the students misplacing their items increases greatly. Shared locker usage is common among upperclassmen with classes at opposite ends of the school. On the other end of the spectrum, many students have had to come to terms with their height issues through bitter confrontations with their lockers. More often than not students who are five feet tall are assigned top lockers, and manage their heavy textbooks and loose papers without dropping anything. The six-foottall students have to sit on the ground to reach their bottom lockers. Many would gawk at the irony, watch their backs

bend at awkward angles and their rushed hands struggle to correctly dial the locker combination the first time around. Many students can fit into either one of these two extremes, and a majority of the student population can attest to the troubles they have encountered due to these ironic inconveniences. Not only does the alphabetical assignment of lockers cause troubles that last for the duration for the school year, but it increases the percentage of misplaced textbooks, personal items and assignments that can negatively affect one or more students drastically. The school should reconsider their methods of locker assignment. Most alternatives would be more practical than the current system. Many schools allow students to choose their own lockers on the first day of school, and to allow students to do so, this alternative would eliminate both issues: lockers being placed far away from classes and also students being inconvenienced with inappropriately placed lockers according to their heights. Locker assignment techniques should not be restricted to alphabetizing. It is not practical to consider locker assignment in this way. There are many more factors that should be considered by students, such as their grade levels and individual class schedules. This can only be effective if the students are allowed to choose their own lockers, according to their own conveniences. If locker assignment were to be addressed in a more effective manner, students would be much better off and counselors would not be confronted with anywhere near as many student complaints at the beginning of the year.

illustration by mehak rahman

and building repairs. Seminole County’s sales tax is at seven percent, with onefourth of the extra percent going toward schools and the other three-fourths funding county and city government. With the school board’s urging and voter approval in November, the Seminole County sales tax could be lowered by one-half cent, with 100 percent of the extra money, instead of only 25 percent, going toward schools. The benefits are a no-brainer. The new sales tax means more money for schools and less money to pay in sales taxes. With the new half-cent sales tax, Seminole County Public Schools would receive $26 million annually. This money would be spent on renovating up to 63 outdated campuses with new facilities, technology and security. School Board candidate Dr. Tina Calderone asserts that the half-cent tax would help schools invest in new technology to better prepare students for the workforce. Additionally, without the half-cent tax, school renovations, such as roof repairs, could have to wait up to ten years. Improving schools is a huge deal, especially in Seminole County, where the

highly acclaimed school district is a large boost for the local economy and a source of pride for residents. Like all taxes, the proposed halfcent sales tax has managed to arouse controversy and opposition, despite the overwhelming benefits that it will bring. Political groups like Six for Seminole eagerly oppose new taxes, look for their smallest pitfalls and exaggerate them to the point of absurdity. The largest argument is that the halfpenny sales tax is in reality, a tax increase instead of a decrease. The opposition claims that Seminole County’s sales tax will probably end up being 7.5 percent when the County Commission votes to reapprove the penny sales tax currently in effect. This is highly unlikely; the halfcent tax was originally proposed because the County Commission was hesitant to reapprove its current sales tax in today’s troubled economy. The economy is not good. Almost everyone knows that, but people can afford to pay a half-cent per dollar less than they currently do. The schools need a break, and the half-cent sales tax is the answer.

classes have the right idea. In this class, students in levels II-V are responsible for the creation of lesson plans, activity organization and the administration of snacks at the Husky Pup Preschool. While a teacher is in place to oversee and okay everything, students are essentially the ones running the program. Students in this position benefit greatly from this method of teaching. They are given the chance to make important

authoritative decisions, thus simulating a real-life workplace. If more opportunities such as this were offered, students who are interested in different fields could get a better feel for their potential future career. Too often, students enter college pursuing one major and later decide that they would prefer to study a different subject. Had they been offered a workplace simulation in high school, this could have been avoided.

Half-cent sales tax beneficial Justin Moser


co-news editor he recent recession devastated the nation’s economy, cost people their jobs and forced the government to cut funding for many projects and departments. School districts have been in the midst of a funding crisis for what seems to be an eternity and have struggled to find ways to raise money. Taxation is one way to do that, but unfortunately the word “tax” is somewhat of a taboo, especially in this economy. Tax payers usually reject new taxes fairly quickly and without much consideration for the taxes’ long term benefits. Fortunately, the Seminole County Commission has found a way to kill two birds with one stone: raise funding for schools and lower taxes. One can only hope that this new sales tax does not receive a fate similar to that of other proposed taxes. Currently, Florida’s sales tax—that is, the few extra cents per dollar that buyers pay—is at six percent. Local governments have the option to add on to the state sales tax and use the extra revenue for school and city improvement, like road

Our view: More workplace simulations should be offered


igh school is meant to prepare students to take on the real world. Knowledge shared on this campus is expected to provide the foundation for skills to be acquired later in life. But how can we be expected to be successful beyond high school if we are not provided opportunities during high school that directly prepare us for life in the future? The Early Childhood Education


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November 1, 2010

nine weeks exams better Back Talk: Are than nine weeks projects? YES


“Although some students argue that projects relieve much of the stress that accompanies exams, projects often fail to assess all aspects of the curriculum.”

“Quarterly projects are not only less time-consuming and simpler than exams, but they can encourage students to reach out of their usual boundaries and get outside help.”

- Kait Moorman

Kait Moorman


opinions editor xam. The word sends shivers down the spine of any student. But are these tests really as bad as students like to think they are? The quarterly grading policy changed at the start of the year. The strict projectexam schedule has been done away with. Teachers now have the option to choose what type of quarterly assessment to administer. The result is more exams and very few projects. And this is the way it ought to be. Although some students argue that projects relieve much of the stress that accompanies exams, projects often fail to assess all aspects of the curriculum. In the past, projects have focused on individual subjects or lessons taught during the course of the nine weeks. The catapult project that honors physics students must complete focuses primarily on topics like projectile motion and velocity, disregarding much of the other information covered during the quarter, such as circuits and conduction. Exams, on the other hand, cover all topics discussed throughout the quarter. These assessments are a good means by which teachers can test their students’ knowledge of the course material. The results of these exams notify both teachers and students which areas of study need to be practiced or reviewed more thoroughly in class during the following quarter of the school year. Exams also help prepare students for life after high school. At most colleges and universities, classes administer three or four exams during the course of the semester. In most cases, these exams account for 75 to 100 percent of the students’ overall grade in the class. In an algebra class at Valencia Community College, progress tests make up 60 percent of student’s overall class average while the final exam accounts for about 15 percent of their grade. Basically, this means that the grades students get on exams determine whether they pass the class and get credit for it or not. High school exams should prepare students for this type of assessment. Another benefit of the all-exam schedule is the dramatic reduction of time

- Sean Donovan

teachers spend grading. When students have to complete a project that is worth 20 percent of their grade for that quarter of the year, it is guaranteed to have multiple complex steps. These steps cause stress to both student and teacher. Students must worry about completing every step and doing it properly while teachers must grade each step for accuracy for more than 100 projects. With exams, teachers simply create a test, compile an answer key, administer the assessment and send student answer sheets to the Scantron machine to determine the grades. The answers are either right or wrong, and the uncertainty of project rubrics is no longer an issue. This spares teachers the repetitiveness of grading the same project with the same criteria over and over again. Exams also save teachers from student complaints about the rubric’s lack of specificity. Another downside to projects is the amount of time needed to complete them. With projects, students are rarely given time in class to work. This means that students must find time outside of school to work on their project while finding time in their schedules to finish regular homework, possibly perform a job or chores, practice for athletic teams, attend club meetings, etc. And this is only considering one project for one class. With the old system, students were responsible for numerous projects at the same time. That is simply too much to ask of a person. Some may argue that students would spend just as much time to study for exams as they would to work on a project. If the material was taught well enough in the classroom in the first place, students should simply have to review notes before an exam. A project, on the other hand, requires hours of labor. Exams require less of students than projects, but offer so much more. It is a shame that it took so long for this exam schedule to be created.


around six. This means they have only a few hours to do their homework, eat, clean up for the night and spend the rest of the night studying. That provides for maybe two good hours of studying for every class, and even during exam week, there are other exams that they have to study for but have no extra time to do so. Projects, however, can be done over time. Certain parts of a nine weeks project are due at specific times throughout the grading period, which requires that students turn it in over time. This demands that students effectively manage their time and prevents procrastination. According to this schedule, students must also be organized. A project also generally yields a better grade than an exam. Some argue that a project is not as fair as an exam because not every student has the same general chance of getting a good grade, but projects do allow some fairness in that every student has the same amount of time to complete the project with no excuse for failure. However some exams are not fair in the sense that some students might not be as strong on some subjects as others, and would perform well on one part of the exam and do horribly on another. Unlike the fact that students can study for hours on end and still get a 71 on an exam, a student could spend lots of time on a project and get a good grade because of the effort put into it. Projects, regardless of whether or not they are at the end of the quarter or semester, will always cover material learned, or being learned, making it easier for a student to create such a project and relieving them of the overbearing stress instilled by exams. Quarterly projects are not only lesstime-consuming and simpler, but they can encourage students to reach out of their usual boundaries and get outside help. Students can talk to their parents, siblings or their friends, and use resources, such as the Internet, to get the help they need to earn a higher grade on the project. Requiring that students seek outside help to complete a project helps prepare them for the real world beyond high school.

Tell it like it is

“Sometimes projects don’t correspond with what we’re learning in class. I’d rather take a test and get it over with.” - Ashley Miller, 11 “I like ending with exams more; I think projects are more stressful and I think exams are easier.” - Elaina Fohr, 10

Sean Donovan staff reporter t the beginning of the school year, word spread that a new system was in place. Previously, projects and exams were mixed throughout the year. That changed as the new system allowed nine weeks exams to be administered every quarter, dropping mandatory nine weeks projects. Usually, the old schedule allotted a project every other quarter, a total of two projects per class per year. The remaining two slots were for quarterly exams. Freshmen and sophomores trained for an exam-project schedule throughout middle school. They were mentally prepared for this type of outlook, and then were thrown off course by the sudden shift. Having an exam every quarter could crush their hopes of getting an ‘A’ in a class they knew they would not be so good in coming into the year, because most projects will boost a grade, and most exams will drop a grade when the class is difficult for a student. Exams can cause major stress to any student. According to USA Today, the average college student will spend 20 hours of studying in proportion to 17 hours of being in class every week. This amount of dedication is nearly impossible for high school students, though, as their schedules generally do not yield the amount of time needed for sufficient studying. On the few occasions in which they do study, students devote usually anywhere from an hour or an hour and a half to each of about five classes every night. In addition, exams do not give students enough time to prepare. Teachers give a review just a few days before the exam and give students the amount of days left until the exam to go back and review what they have done for that nine weeks or possibly the semester. Take into consideration those who have extracurricular activities. Participants usually do not get home until

“With projects, you have a longer time to do it compared to an exam in which you usually have a designated amount of time.” - Daniel Neveras, 9

“Projects give students the opportunity to research the topic they are studying.” - Cody Hebda, 11 “I like exams better because they are a review of the material so it’s easier.” - Lauren Holladay, 9

“Projects are a good chance to bring up grades and not everyone is a good test-taker.” - Mallory Pigmon, 12

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Issue 2


Scott’s Say Wrestling team loses weight to win New Amway Center highlights season Scott Strauss


co-sports editor ut with the old and in with the new. This idea is the theme around the Orlando Magic’s current season. This year will not only be a chance for the Magic to come back after a loss to the Boston Celtics in the Conference Finals of the 2010 playoffs, but it is also the inaugural year of the all-new Amway Center. On Sept. 29, 2006, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the agreement on the new arena in downtown Orlando. The project broke ground on July 25, 2008, and the official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Oct. 1, 2010, just in time for the start of the 20102011 NBA season. Compared to the previous arena, the Amway Center is a marvel. The square footage nearly doubles that of the old Amway Arena. What this means is that while the old arena was the home to original Magic fans’ memories, the new center is much more suited to provide entertainment for many years. Since the Amway Center is a spectacle, loyal fans should have more of a reason to go to games. Packed with features borrowed from other facilities from around the country, the center is called the most modern arena in North America. Magic president Alex Martins says it an all-encompassing entertainment complex that is completely different from what people experienced at the old Amway Arena. Think of the new arena as the prettier sister of the Amway Arena just a few blocks away. On top of all the incredible technology found at the new venue, its creation allows for fans to go to games for less money than at the previous venue. The Magic’s ‘Fan Cost Index’, which is the cost of an average family of four’s trip to game, is among the lowest among all other NBA arenas, at only $234. Individual tickets can be bought for as low as $4. This not only will save money for families, but a night out with friends will cost less than before and offer more options with arena’s numerous restaurants and stores. The arena is not only a place to go for a Magic game, but an improvement to the core of the city and the team. At the old arena, I always felt that the design was poor, and a lot of unnecessary navigation was required just to get to the seats. Unlike the enormous flight of stairs that fans would have to climb to get into the Amway Arena, the new center allows entrance on ground level and escalators help fans with armfuls of popcorn and soda reach their seat. Along with these commodities, seats will be more spacious, with increased leg room and as much as four inches extra width in some places. While this may not seem much a very dramatic change, consider where the obnoxious fan seated next to you will put his foam finger at halftime when the Magic play a division rival. While the team looks like they are prepared to have a very successful season, the real incentive for game attendance is the new venue, the Amway Center. It is the best arena in the country, and compliments the Magic on their way to the Finals.

Jack Schwartz


staff reporter

restlers come in all shapes and sizes: weight classes range from 103 pounds to 235-pound heavyweights. The way these classes work is what defines a wrestler. Before every dual meet or tournament, all wrestlers are weighed to the tenth of a pound in order to be placed under the correct weight class. Officials wait and watch as the numbers flicker before the scale and reveal the athlete’s weight. For every wrestler that cuts weight, this moment is crucial. If a wrestler is one-tenth of a pound above their designated class, they are disqualified. If a wrestler fails to make weight, their opponent receives an automatic win, which gives the opposing team six points. “The fact that your team has to bear the same loss that you do is incentive enough to make weight,” senior wrestler Richard Perry said. “No one wants to be the guy that gives away six points to the opponent.” These athletes push their bodies to the maximum to improve their muscle-to-fat ratio. There are many ways for this to be done. It is not uncommon for a wrestler to run, jump rope or simply wrestle in heatinducing clothing. Wrestlers will often wear sweats in order to burn more calories during their exercises. “I’ve seen people wear sauna suits to practices, or spit into a bottle all day to lose water weight,” assistant coach Fritto Cherenfant said. “I use to run with a weight vest on. Everybody cuts in their own way.” There are many regulations to be followed in order to safely and legally cut weight. According to Florida Wrestling regulations, a wrestler cannot lose over 1.5 percent of their body fat in a single week. A wrestler also must never have less than a 7 percent body fat level. These rules are kept track of based on the athlete’s initial certification. On certification day, before the season, a wrestler does three things: first, a sports medical official weighs each wrestler and

records the weight. After being weighed, the official takes a body fat reading in several places on the athlete’s body. Lastly, a hydration test is issued. Tested through a urine sample, the hydration test’s purpose is to make sure the athletes are properly hydrated and contain a healthy amount of water in the body. If a wrestler fails the hydration test, they become ineligible to participate in any matches until they can successfully pass the test. These regulations cause problems for many wrestlers who cut weight. Senior wrestler Chris Green, who currently weighs 119 pounds, encountered problems last season. “I was cutting from 119 to 103, and when I got to about 107 my body fat level was just below 7 percent,” Green said. “It’s pretty frustrating when you put a lot of work into something, then that thing you were working toward is taken from you.” Although head coach Isaiah Cabal agrees that cutting weight is a key factor in wrestling, he has never pressured any

of his wrestlers to do so. “If I could go back and tell myself the secrets to cutting weight, I would,” Cabal said. “That’s why I stress it on the kids that eating right and proper exercise is the key to losing pounds safely.” Many wrestlers have cut weight incorrectly and have seen the affects of it in a negative way. Two years ago, at Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Fla. a wrestler cut a large amount of weight. The senior who weighed 165 pounds had already dropped 13 pounds in a single practice, the day before the school’s biggest tournament, when his liver failed. He spent two days in the hospital, and could not wrestle for the rest of his senior year. “This is not an easy sport,” Cabal said. “It’s just you out there on the mat. Wrestlers can’t blame anyone else for their mistakes, and they can’t rely on any of their teammates. The sport requires you to push yourself to limits you didn’t even know existed. And when it’s done safely, everything you do will pay off, not just in sports, but in life.”

photo by jem mason

Senior J.J. Lopez focuses on fitness while doing push-ups during the first official wrestling practice of the season.

Swimming pushes toward states

Sean Donovan


staff reporter fter last year’s conference championship for the boys and a playoff run for the girls, the swimming teams look toward the best finish in program history. The boys go into the postseason with a 7-0 record in dual meets and a second place finish at the Oct. 14 Seminole Athletic Conference meet. “We had a wonderful season,” head swimming coach Heather Ambrosi said, “There was more depth this year. We had strong starting swimmers and very good swimmers behind them.” At the SAC meet, the boys won seven out of the 12 events but finished second to Seminole. Districts were on Oct. 30, regionals are on Nov. 6, and the season ends with states on Nov. 13. Because last year’s boys team finished 10th in states, anchored by a fourth place finish from the 400-yard freestyle relay team, its level of expectation is raised. The team has performed well throughout the year, but Ambrosi said that the only thing that will need to stay constant is the technique, and it will prove a big factor if the team looks to go far. Once the season is over, the boys will lose three seniors, among them Matt

Curby, the 2008 state champ in the 100yard breaststroke. Over the summer, Curby attended a Junior Nationals and National camp at Colorado Springs, Colo. There, he trained with swimmers of his age level and got to meet some Olympic swimmers. “Some of the fastest kids of my age group were there,” Curby said. “It was definitely a good experience to be there with them.” Curby is part of the relay team that finished fourth last year, with seniors Takashi Worrell, Zach Edgar and sophomore Jason Coombs. At SAC, the team won the 200-yard medley relay, clocking in at 1:39.23, and then won the 400-yard free relay with a time of 3:15.40.

One of the difficulties of the postseason is knowing how many events to participate in without overextending. “The relay team is going to go far into the postseason,” Edgar said, “but we might change things up a bit for regionals. We might split up into individuals instead of just having relay teams.” The girls team will also look to succeed at states, after a 36th place finish last year. Led by sophomore Natsuko Worrell, who placed in two events last year, the team came in fourth at SAC with 256.5 points. “The team is definitely living up to the potential that they were expected to reach,” Ambrosi said. “I’m hoping for the girls to go far, and the boys are always doing well.”


page 11

November 1, 2010

Athletes strive to overcome adversity Jem Mason


co-lifestyles editor t three days old, sophomore Richard Johnson had a stroke. The attack affected the right side of his body, making it impossible for him to move his wrist and ankle and made it difficult to move his arm. While in the womb, a blood clot disrupted sophomore Ashley Sherman’s growth and did not allow the rest of her arm to develop. From birth, her right arm ended at her elbow. “Handicapped” is not the term for Sherman and Johnson. Their conditions are simply a part of their lives, and they have never seen them as a hindrance. “I don’t like to call it ‘disabled’ because it’s not; it’s just who I am,” Sherman said. “Because I’ve had it all my life, I’m just used to it.” Despite these ailments, both Sherman and Johnson live active lifestyles as athletes. Sherman has ridden horses all her life and has danced since the sixth

grade. Johnson played both football and basketball and joined the football team in ninth grade. Both have faced challenges in their athletic careers, but have put in the work to overcome them. In middle school, students teased Johnson about his arm and would not let him play sports with them because they thought he was crippled and could not perform as well as everyone else. Johnson found determination from their ridicule. “I really wanted to show them I could beat them,” Johnson said. “I wanted to prove them wrong.” At first, Johnson’s mother was worried about his desire to play for the football team, but his dad encouraged him. When he made it on the team, Johnson strived to prove himself to his fellow teammates and coaches. “Richard is the kind of player that doesn’t want to be treated lightly,” football coach Tim Dycus said. “He’s opened my eyes as a coach about players with limitations and has shown me that you cannot limit people on what you think

they can do.” Sherman was raised with horses, since her mom owned and rode horses before she was born. From three months old with her mother in the saddle to the present, Sherman has been riding horses for pleasure and in shows. Her dance career began in sixth grade when she tried out for the dance team. She had never taken a dance lesson before the audition, and was shocked when she was accepted. She has continued with dance and made it on the dance team in high school, all without a single dance lesson. “I forget she’s in the situation she is because she’s so independent and self driven,” dance teacher Diane Hasenbank said. “People who have two arms, two legs, they take it for granted and don’t realize how much work people like Ashley put into everything.” Sherman adapts to everything thrown her way and takes the initiative to make changes. For dance routines with pompoms, she devised a way to keep it on her arm with a hair tie. She applies a

similar technique to hold her rein while riding horses. “Never give up,” Sherman said. “Because if you do, you’re cheating yourself.”

photo by jem mason

Sophomore Ashley Sherman ends a routine with the rest of the Unleashed Dance Team at the Oct. 24 pep rally before the Oviedo game.

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Issue 2



Meagan Galczak


staff reporter iligent, determined and dedicated, the junior and senior girls are prepared to battle it out in the annual powderpuff game on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The rivalry against the juniors and seniors is a major part of this annual homecoming event. Practices for football players range from one to two hours, three days a week. “It’s really difficult to get everyone at practice, because of hectic schedules,” senior quarterback Chelsea Liles said. “But I’m at my top game when all starting players are at practice.” Some of the players are not fully educated in football and athletics in general, which makes practices more difficult. “When our coach tells us to trip right or uses another football term, some of the girls get really confused,” Liles said. Preparation for the game can be rigorous and requires physical and mental endurance. Typically, players will start off with a mile jog and lift weights every other day. Half of the practice consists of rigorous tackle drills. One of the most difficult parts of preparation for powderpuff is the obtaining the mental focus it takes to memorize and follow through plays. “Playing soccer, I’m much more of an athlete that relies on my body, not on my brain,” running back, Elizabeth Lujan said. “Powderpuff is making me think about the

field a lot more.” Since the event started in 2008, there have been several accounts where the rivalry is overwhelming; girls have been called indecent names, suffered from hard collisions, broken fingers and even had to undergo surgery for injuries. “I actually got hit in the face a few times last year,” Liles said. “People come at you hard, they don’t care if you get hurt; they just want your flag.” Coaches prepare the girls to have strong suits all over the field. “We have a really strong offense and have some great receivers,” senior Megan Amend said. “Our defense is also fierce. It will be hard for anyone to get through.” To further train, some girls even have powderpuff homework. They have daily plans to review as well as the positions that they have for each play. “I’m going to research my position to get a better idea of what the ‘big boys’ do in NCAA and the NFL,” junior Emily Hunter said. Although healthy sportsmanship is constantly encouraged, the referees do not usually see all the brutality and fury between the players from the sidelines. “Last year when we were juniors, girls got knocked down way more than they should have,” Liles said. “We never got penalties called our way even during the most violent of times.” The senior class has always won the event, and this year they hope to continue.

Meagan Galczak


During football practice, senior Danielle Dannenhoffer runs a play.

staff reporter hey tumble, jump, dance and twirl…they are the all-male, powderpuff cheerleaders. These men are expected to be dressed in the appropriate feminine attire, be properly trained in cheers and chants, and familiarize themselves with stunts and dance routines. Practices range from one to two hours, three days a week. Practices generally focus on preparation for the halftime show and standard cheers that occur throughout the game. Coaches of powderpuff cheerleaders allow as much productive creativity possible, but also require accurate performance of cheers. The coaches give the cue on when particular cheers will be performed during the game. “The coaches let everyone contribute their own ideas which can be funny, but kind of dangerous,” senior cheerleader John Reyenga said. “I take practice a little more seriously and try to keep perfect form.” Many coaches are proud of their trainee cheerleaders. “I’m so happy that the guys get so into it,” senior coach Kristen Lowe said. “It would be a lot tougher to coach if they weren’t always so ready to go and look forward to practices.” A requirement for powderpuff cheerleaders is to dress exactly as a Senior Christopher Johnson and his cheerleading squad practice all photos by jem mason their cheers for the powderpuff game.

female cheerleader would. Some wardrobe parts include make up, wigs, skirts or tight fitting pants, painted nails and fake eyelashes. “We don’t dress up until game day,” senior cheerleader Dan Bradley said. “That’s the one day in the entire year where it’s acceptable to dress like a girl, not like I would normally…” Cheerleaders in powderpuff have various roles on the team just like the regular cheerleaders: back spot, flyer and captain. “I like being the captain of my team,” junior cheerleader Nick Laber said. “I lead all of the girly cheers and a good portion of the dances that we’re going to perform at the game.” Cheerleaders are persistent in keeping in character for the game and getting the most laughs as possible. “We’re going to rock this woman thing,” Reyenga said. Stunts that cheerleaders do routinely are sometimes difficult for the men. “Stunting” is when cheerleaders throw their teammates in the air, known as “flyers” and catch them as they fall. “We definitely get the most injuries during stunting,” Laber said. “It’s really fun, but people could get seriously hurt if we goof off and don’t end up catching them..” The powderpuff cheerleaders’ main motto is: “Girls just want to have fun.”