The BluePrint - Volume 13, Issue 5

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Issue 5 Volume 13 April 11, 2018 Hagerty High School Oviedo, Florida


TRACK HEADS TO DISTRICTS The boys and girls track teams finished fifth in conference and look to improve in playoffs page 7 Vecarie Pettis, 12

Student group gains ground in third walkout Ahilyn Aguilar


Editor-in-Chief t 2 p.m. on Friday, March 30, hallways started to fill with students waving posters about gun laws. These students were headed to the amphitheater, ready to participate in the walk out under the leadership of juniors Valeria Portillo and Avery Watson and seniors Courtney Ring and Camryn Willett. “I was so worried about no one knowing about [the walkout] because it wasn’t national, but to have the amphitheater filled and people on the sides of the stairs and up behind me on the balcony was amazing,” Ring said. Ring, along with Willett, Watson and Portillo, set up desks with picture frames of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting as well as the latest school victim from Maryland, with 18 flowers, one per desk, donated by Beautiful Flowers, and a banner with the words ‘#NEVERAGAIN’ hung above the courtyard as they waited for the other students to show up. Once students arrived, Ring gave a 10-minute speech that assured them that change will occur. Ring also informed students that teachers will not be armed in our county and encouraged them to pre-register and vote. This walkout was school-based, not national like the ones on March 14 and Feb. 21. Unlike the past two walkouts, more students attended and held posters that were either self-made or provided by Ring and her group. Voter registration guides were also available for students during the walkout, which were provided by the supervisor of elections for Seminole County.

“The people behind this were so passionate about the cause and wanted other people to feel that passion,”

Courtney Ring, senior

STAND UP AND PROTEST Freshman Amy Joachim protests gun laws along side of freshman Laura Shaw. The protest took place at 2 p.m. in the amphitheater, and walkout leader Courtney Ring encouraged students to bring posters to the walkout. Senior Camryn Willett and juniors Avery Watson and Valeria Portillo also took part and helped to organize the protest which became the first school-based walkout. photo by Bridgette Hahn

A week before the event, the group created a Discord page to get ideas from other students. Ring promoted the walkout on the @hagertywalkout Instagram and Twitter accounts to encourage students who wanted to participate. Under the Discord page, Ring created different categories like budgeting, shirt sales and social media for students to throw in ideas. Nine students joined the website, including main supporter junior Damian Thomas, who helped Ring and her group to get important information out regarding voting, selling shirts and printing out the pictures for the desk memorial. “The people behind this walkout were so passionate about the cause and wanted other people to feel that passion,” Ring said. “They were the people who came up with ideas, made the banner, handed out the voting guides and made posters for others to hold during the walkout.” Students like sophomores Erin O’Connor and Melissa Matos also contributed ideas for the movement; Matos also donated the picture frames needed for the desk memorial and band students brought in podiums used in the protest. The original plan for the walkout included local media coverage and a balloon release in the football stadium, but these plans changed due to the track resurfacing and news stations not getting permission from the county in time to come on campus. Ring encourages students to support the movement by following @hagertywalkout Twitter and Instagram page to stay informed about attending school board meetings, signing petitions and encouraging others to vote. The group will continue to use Discord and pass out orange ribbons every Wednesday. The next walkout is scheduled on April 20, at 10 a.m. “Students have a voice to use, we’re not silent in this situation,” Watson said. “If you want to support, it doesn’t have to be a physical support, a vocal support is enough.”

TV Production walks the line to victory Friday, March 16 to Sunday, March 18. The Online Editor group, which consisted of Carlson and fellow juniors Kali Jobs, Alec Morraco and Avery Watson, senior Riley Kane and eight others; won first place for the Silent Film competition. The convention hosted student broadcasters and filmmakers in high schools across the nation, putting on informational sessions to help students improve their work. It also provided students opportunities to meet with college broadcast programs and take part in various competitions which are split into film and broadcast categories. Competitors in the Silent Film category had CAFFEINE CHAOS Junior Katie Carlson stars in “I Walk the Line.” The short film, directed and edited by junior six hours—three to film and three to edit—to Kali Jobs, won first place at STN’s On-The-Spot Silent produce a two minute silent film focused on the Film Competition. photo by “I Walk the Line” video title “I Walk the Line.” nce they heard their school’s name, “It was kind of stressful at the beginning,” everyone lost their minds. Jobs said, “but then I just got in the mood and did “We might’ve knocked over a chair it the way I wanted to do it, so it wasn’t that bad.” or two,” junior Katie Carlson said. The minute and six second-long film starred Before they took off for spring break, TV Carlson in the main role, where she wakes up in Production students and advisor Donna Parker, her hotel room craving a cup of coffee, but when attended the Student Television Network’s she’s unable to find any in her room, she uses annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee from any means necessary to cut in line at a Starbucks Bryson Turner


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kiosk in the hotel’s convention center. “My love of caffeine made me think of how I hate waiting in lines for coffee,” Carlson said. “So, why not make a short film out of it?” As it turned out, Carlson’s love for the coffee chain was a recurring joke throughout the conference. “There were Starbucks all over the hotel,” Jobs said. “Any time we would see one we’d yell ‘Katie, Starbucks!’” Adults were not allowed to be present while the students worked on their films, but by the time Parker saw the video, she felt the confident it would receive, at least, an Honorable Mention. “The story, combined with the execution, made this video a winner,” Parker said. “If you can’t tell a good story, then trying to make a film without words, or music, won’t work – it will simply look like a montage of video clips with no apparent purpose.” The conference, as well as the competition, provided a memorable learning experience. “I could consider the conference to be one of the best experiences of my life,” Carlson said.

See more on DOING IT ALL Leadership, SGA, and dance – just a few of the activities senior Abby Smith participates in. But, with all of these, she still finds time to enjoy being a senior. VICTORY LAP Senior Jacob Strickle is known for his broken track records. Next year he hopes to keep running in college.

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‘Addams Family’ impresses Tara Routie


Staff Reporter he theater department entertained the crowd during “The Addams Family” on March 29-31, the last production of the school year. The ensemble played the theme song, and the audience was introduced to the Addams family during the first song. The ensemble included members of the band, with band directors Brad and Brian Kuperman conducting. Senior Sarah Gallagher was music director, and taught the notes and rhythms sung in the show. “The best part was the last show when all our hard work paid off,” Gallagher said. The Addams family consisted of Gomez (junior Michael McNamara), Morticia, (senior Kara Brizendine and junior Catie Jackson), Wednesday, (senior Emma Matzinger), Pugsley, (sophomore Elizabeth Hardwick), Fester, (sophomore Jake Lippman) and the grandma, (sophomore Madison Walker). Most actors were returners to the stage, but the musical still posed a challenge. “The Addams Family” involved singing, acting and dancing, as well as a live ensemble to play the songs. Brizendine took every opportunity of free time she had to practice. “Whenever I [drove] to school, I [plugged] in my phone and [played] a karaoke track to my songs,” Brizendine said. Although there were only a few lead roles, many actors remained on stage throughout the show. The ancestors consisted of 19 actors, and

they watched the show from the stage. Even though they had no speaking roles, the ancestors participated in the songs and dances, and had to paint their body with white paint each night to look like ghosts. Not only did the actors have to work on their dancing skills, but they had to develop into characters they were unfamiliar with. “I’ve had to understand how to be a father, how to care for a daughter, how to be in a relationship with a wife, things that are years ahead of me,” McNamara said. Morticia’s character switched each night, with Brizendine playing her on March 29 and 31, and Jackson playing her on March 30. Brizendine still enjoyed the opportunity to morph into a different character, however. “I’m not used to playing a powerful character,” Brizendine said. The department started to prepare since December, and had rehearsal from 2:304:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday starting in January. Many students worked on their own time in addition to rehearsal every day. McNamara learned to develop into Gomez also by studying the character. “I’ve gone to the movies, I’ve gone to the shows, and I’ve looked at the original cartoon,” said McNamara. Putting all the aspects together posed as a challenge as well. Junior Vangeli Tsompanidis was the assistant director for the first time for “The Addams Family,” so it was a different challenge for him. He shadowed director Trevor


SINGING SENSATION Wednesday and Morticia, played by senior Emma Matzinger and junior Catie Jackson, sing during a dress rehearsal. Jackson played Morticia on March 30. photo by Maggie Taylor

Southworth, as well as gave critiques and recommendations to those acting. “My first time trying to block a scene and give notes was really nerve racking,” said Tsompanidis. Even with the hard work and long days, the musical proved successful. During the last show on Saturday, all of the seniors received a rose

since it was their last time performing on stage. Many seniors chose to act in the musical rather than participate in the crew, simply because it was their last opportunity to act, and they wanted to take advantage of it. “I wanted to be on cast just so I could be on stage one last time before I graduate,” senior Emma Matzinger said.

Following shooting, protesters unite in march Emily Cosio


News Editor

unior Avery Watson stood beside her best friend, looking out into the sea of nearly 10,000 people. She had never participated in a march before, and the sheer quantity of people was as nerve wracking as it was overwhelming. Heart pounding, Watson took her first steps and joined the crowd. “During the march, I felt incredible,” Watson said. “The energy of the crowd really gets you and it’s an amazing feeling.” On Saturday, March 24, thousands of protesters in Lake Eola marched for tighter gun control. “Having such a big gathering of support is a really positive environment and it’s also nice to see other people’s perspective on the same topic,” senior Courtney Ring said. Ring and others first heard about March for Our Lives after the shooting in Parkland, when students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas spoke about it. The plans for the march also generated social media activity, which Ring participated in by creating an Instagram account to spread messages and news. The marchers felt many emotions: nervous energy beforehand and a sense of

accomplishment after. People shouted chants while marching which fueled the energy of the crowd. “One of my favorites was ‘Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, No more Marco Rubio,’ that we chanted as we passed by Marco Rubio’s office,” Ring said. “A march has a funny way of making you really excited to do anything.” Reasons for attending the event varied. Many participated because students cannot share their thoughts through voting, but the biggest reason for protesting was for marchers to use their voices and to be the change that they wish to see in the world. Junior Nicole Assenmacher, an avid participant in the school walkouts, attended the march with junior Alexa Hilston and friends. “My goal was to voice my opinion, make myself heard and to stick up for what I believe in,” junior Nicole Assenmacher said. “I think I accomplished that.” Some students, like junior Alexa Hilston, who also marched downtown, do not believe that banning guns is the solution. “I’m not in favor of taking away anyone’s constitutional rights, but I wanted my voice to be heard so that our schools will be safer so my friends and I won’t be afraid to go to school,” Hilston said.

Ring was one of the many volunteers who helped to make the march happen. Instead of joining the masses of people headed for home once the march was over, Ring walked back to Lake Eola, where she and other volunteers helped to clean up. “It was insane, my feet were killing me, and I was in such relief when it was over but now looking back, I really miss that time,” Ring said. Those who attended felt that they made an impact. “These events are a way for students to voice our opinions and show support for causes we believe in,” Watson said.

SHOWING SIGNS Assenmacher marches in protest with her friends. The Orlando march was one of the 800 sister marches. photo provided by Nicole Assenmacher


by Melissa Donovan

you need to know CLASS OF 2020 HOLDS GARAGE SALE On Saturday, April 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, the class of 2020 will be hosting a spring cleaning community garage sale in the student parking lot. They are accepting any and all donations, especially pieces of furniture. Drop off for donations will be on Sunday, April 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., also in the student parking lot. Spots to sell items will be $10, it is suggested if people have multiple or large items that they are selling that they may want to purchase multiple spots. All proceeds will be given to class of 2020. PROM HOSTED AT HARD ROCK LIVE For the first time ever, the prom will be held at Hard Rock Live in Universal Orlando. Prom will be on Saturday, April 21 from 7 to 11 p.m.. Also for the first time, food will be served buffet style, so students do not have to worry about signing up for a table to sit at and they can just come and eat as they please. Tickets are still being sold for $90 during both lunches. Students who are unable to go during both lunches should visit Laura Estes in room 3-221 before school or during break. Additional information, as far as dress code, can be found on the the school website. RELAY FOR LIFE CUT SHORT DUE TO WEATHER Relay for Life was hosted Saturday, April, 7 at its new location, Oviedo on the Park, but the event had to be cut short at 7:30 due to weather. This event has been held for several years in varying locations including Hagerty and Oviedo high schools all with the same purpose: to raise money for the American Cancer Society. There were 15 teams from different schools or corporations, which raised money to give back to the society. At the event, many vendors, raffles, and crafts were around for visitors and also booths with activates like ring toss and cornhole.

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The BluePrint is a student-produced newspaper in which the student editors make all content decisions. The newspaper belongs to the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Opinions expressed within the newspaper do Hagerty High School not represent the staff’s views as a whole (except 3225 Lockwood Blvd. for Our Take), the views of Seminole County Oviedo, FL 32765 Public Schools or Hagerty High’s administration and staff. Phone: (407) 871-0750 For information about advertising in the Fax: (407) 871-0817 paper, please contact us via one of the above methods. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement.


blue print

Take a stand, then take action

t started with the online conspiracy that Parkland survivor David Hogg was a famous “crisis actor,” then multiple politicians, starting with Georgia’s Jack Kingston, brought up the question, “Do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?” But nothing stopped the #NEVERAGAIN movement. After the Parkland shooting became one deadliest U.S. shootings in history on Feb. 14, criticism has targeted Stoneman Douglas students and their supporters. #NEVERAGAIN student supporters have been called “childish” since the first national walkout occurred on Feb. 21, and this has increased as the number of walkouts and marches have risen as well. Like Kingston, critics say that we are too young to do anything. They say we are not old enough to start a movement, or better yet a change. They ask themselves why they should even listen to us since we are “inexperienced” and “clueless.” They refuse to hear our opinions and beliefs when it comes to gun violence and school shootings. But, unlike what they suggest, our generation cannot stay quiet. We must voice our opinions and push toward change. We are the generation who is affected and we must prove those who don’t believe in us wrong. We spend 12 years learning how to think for ourselves. Teachers educate us on how to be an active member of society and make wise decisions. A democracy encourages citizens to be active and make their own decisions based on researched facts. So, now that we as a community has encountered a situation where we can apply these learnings, why don’t we? No matter what side you’re on, whether you’re against increased gun laws or support reform, it’s important to voice your opinion and your beliefs. It’s important to call attention to your point and act. To be a true supporter of a cause is not just to protest but to also be active. We cannot be satisfied with meeting the stereotype of people who complain but do not follow through when it is time to take action. It is one thing to protest about people who do not vote and another to call attention to it and then go vote yourself. When different viewpoints collide, knowing how to be active or how to support your cause can be hard. But, simple acts such as signing petitions, attending school board meetings, voting or even encouraging others to do so can be enough to support all sides. So, let’s prove critics wrong. Let’s be the generation that asks for change and pursues it. Whatever side you’re on, stand up for your beliefs and do something.

Editor-in-Chief Ahilyn Aguilar

Online Editor Bryson Turner

Managing Editor Melissa Donovan

Staff Reporters Sydney Crouch Sarah Dreyer Noah Kemper Jessica Maldonado Tara Routie

Sports Editor Michael Gibson News Editor Emily Cosio Opinions Editor Katarina Harrison Business Manager Melissa Donovan

Adviser Brit Taylor Principal Dr. Mary Williams

New bells a shock to the system Michael Gibson


Sports Editor t’s the first day back from spring break. Everyone is catching up with friends and then a noise straight out of a horror movie blasts over the intercom. The loud screech is not the bell currently in place, but what a way to start fourth quarter. When the final first period bell rang, the sound could only be described as interesting. Was administration about to make an announcement? Was it just a random noise? No one seemed to know what to do, but eventually, everyone figured out that this was the new bell. Much like the Snapchat update, we are going to have to live with it. The bell system, while it is unusual, is beneficial and enables administration to have over 30 different bell schedules, as if the seven previous ones were not enough. The district also paid for the new bell system and is installing it in all the schools – so at least we are not the only ones who have to deal with this. The four-tone ring that is currently in place is the “most pleasant” of all the bells available for the school to use, and fun-fact, it’s also the doorbell from The Jetsons. For the minute bell, it is officially a fog horn but it is commonly mistaken for a steamboat, or maybe administration is trying to cause everyone post-spring break cruise depression.

Administration plans on testing out new bells during the summer when no one is on campus, so they can tweak it and not cause further disruption; which they should have done in the first place. The four-tone ring plays twice at the start and end of every period, which it is not supposed to do. So not only can the new bell not sound good, but it does not always work. The district also sent a specialist to assist in any problems that occurred while the new bells were being set up. If only they could spend that money on, oh, I don’t know, a better sounding bell. The bells currently available even include words, much like the obnoxious code red drill or fire alarm. Choices include a “You have one minute to get to class” and as one teacher suggested, “Get your butt to class”. The bell sound, if used at all, would replace the fog horn. A phone ring tone was even suggested so all the students would check their phone the first time it went off and realize they only had a minute to get to class. Kind of a late for an April Fool’s joke if you ask me. The current bells will stay for the remainder of the year. Most people used to it for now, and next year, we will get used to it too. Most students heard the same two bells their schooling, and why the district could not wait until summer to put the new system in, no one knows. Nevertheless, neither is leaving, so we just have to deal with it.

Forget sunshine, protect our beaches Katarina Harrison


Opinions Editor

fter the Florida Congress passed of the Sunshine Protection Act, which would put Florida permanently on Daylight Saving Time, all eyes are on Gov. Rick Scott to see whether he will sign it into law. Discussions over the validity of such a measure have dominated political discussion statewide. This one-sided attention, however, is drawing public attention away from a much more serious, controversial, and important pieces of legislation that Scott has already signed into law. Recently, Scott signed the Possession of Real Property Bill, fundamentally changing public access to beaches across the state. Prior to the passage of this law, Florida residents and tourists had access to any beach they could prove people had been going to for recreation for an extended length of time. The new law would restrict this access from the entire sandy beach front, to only the sand up to the high tide line. Beachgoers on the sand above the high tide line would be considered trespassers and could be punished as

in the same way as more serious offenders. Since 60 percent of Florida beaches are privately owned, this new law has the potential to drastically restrict beach access to the millions of Floridians and tourists who visit beaches annually. Government and public focus are both aimed at the sunshine act; a frivolous move meant to protect the state image as the Sunshine State. But while that act will not truly change the amount of sunshine tourists have access to, the Possession of Real Property Bill truly will change the access tourists have to beaches. In a state with an economy so heavily dependent on tourism, this law should cause not only concern, but outrage. If the effect on tourists is not enough, the effect on locals should hit close to home. While tourists may be granted easy access to the beaches around their hotel, Floridians will not have such easy access unless they own beach properties. Spring break trips to the beach, or even casual weekend trips there, will be made far more difficult or pricey. In the short term, this law may not have such a drastic effect. It is unlikely that all beach

property owners will immediately take their beach away from the public, or charge beachgoers with trespassing. This law, however, sets a dangerous precedent, one that could lead to unrestrained ownership of Florida beaches, restricting not only the freedom of the locals but the economy of the state as a whole. In addition to the effects on people, it is important to consider the potential environmental impacts of the law. Currently, with beach land protected by the government, land owners are restricted from doing anything drastic to the land, and therefore unable to severely harm the environment. With increased ownership, beach owners have more freedom than ever to harm the beach in a variety of ways. Even at its most effective, the Sunshine Act will do little more than remove the annoyance of changing the clocks every year. Compare this to the potentially disastrous effects of the Possession of Real Property Bill, and it will become clear which of the two bills should be causing public concern. No one cares how many hours of sunlight there are if there is no beach to enjoy them on.

“The Hero Policy, takes the kids out of class if they are late and it makes them even later to class.” - Anthony Del Rosario, 12


Barking Mad is a collection of short submissions about things that tick students off around school. If something at school makes you mad, go to and submit your entry to Ask the Editor, and it may be featured here.

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“I would love to see more rewards and privileges for honor roll students because I feel like we all just need some kind of reassurance that we are doing okay.” - Katie Bolotte, 10 “I wish they can change the whole tardy policy back to how it was. - George Wanna,12 “Honestly the drama. I try to stay away from the drama, but there’s always drama somewhere. I’m just trying to learn, graduate and get out of here.” - Mercedes Sprank, 11

“The school lunch is not the best. They are trying to make it healthier but it just tastes disgusting.” - Dylan Lujan, 9

Who voted for the Possession of Real Property Act?

29 of 36 95 of 102



0 of 29 million Florida citizens

“The Hero pass, I just feel like its making students even later to class.” - Maddison Pleasants, 12

“I know the administrators are “How much homework the doing their job, but they sometimes teachers gives and how early we need to tone it down a bit.” have to wake up in the morning.” - Gabriel Martin, 12 - Dylan Ramond, 9 “The dress code is strict, and it just makes everything so much more difficult, especially in the morning.” - Serenity Anderson, 11

“I think the class periods are way too long. They are almost two hours long, and that’s too long to be sitting down and listening to the teacher.” -Blair Evans, 9

“The dress code, is way too strict and we live in such a hot state.” “All of the redundant policies like, - Renee Campbell, 10 no hats and tank tops and no chewing gum. It’s so annoying and “I would change the dress code pointless.” because it’s a bit strict, like off- Sage Seminara, 10 the-shoulder-tops. I’m pretty sure shoulders are not a distraction.” - Lexi Groenick, 11

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Important questions to ask on a college tour:

1. What are the best 3. What do you do in reasons to go to this your free time? On the weekends? college?

5. What do you wish you could change about this college?

2. What’s it like to go 4. What do you love about this college? from high school to college?

6. Why did you choose this college?

Road trips aid college decision-making process Melissa Donovan


Assistant Editor

pring break: normally a time for the beach and catching up on sleep missed from all the stress of third quarter. For junior Kayla Whisenant, however, it was a time for college tours. During spring break, Whisenant toured eight colleges: Lynn University, Tampa University, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Atlantic Palm Coast University, Florida Atlantic University, and Nova Southeastern. “I look at everything about the school but mostly the size, I want a small or medium school,” Whisenant said. “My top two schools are JU and FGCU because they are super pretty and right on the water and both have a big science program which I want to study in.” Before spring break, she had also toured Florida Southern, William Peace, Southeastern University and Duke University with her soccer team, either because they had tournaments there or because she was interested in them. While Whisenant looked only at state schools this spring break, juniors Rosa Mentlick and Anna Wimberley looked at schools in surrounding states as well. Mentlick came into the touring process with her heart set on University of Miami, but once

she toured, she realized it was not for her. She decided to not even apply there. “Your perspective changes a ton,” Mentlick said. “I didn’t like Miami any more because it looked like a community college to me, [plus] the dorms were teeny tiny, and their law school was not good.” She toured the University of Florida, Florida State University, Miami, the University of Alabama, and the University of Auburn, and she currently in favors UF and FSU because of the “mood of the campus.” “I looked at if people were happy there, and at some schools no one was happy,” Mentlick said. As for Wimberley, who toured FSU, Louisiana State University, Ole Miss University and Mississippi State University, like Mentlick, she looked for schools that had the mood she wanted on campus. “I believe in Southern comfort big time, it is definitely real,” Wimberley said. “You will never get the same warm welcoming from someone you don’t even know.” She spent five days touring and liked LSU the most. “The students are all so spirited, and I’m very into SEC football. LSU is definitely top notch,” Wimberley said. “The only thing I didn’t like was how big the campus was. It is very spread out.” This summer, she hopes to tour Auburn,

Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Senior Nick Hurley was sure he was going to the University of South Florida; he had applied, been accepted, and just had to tour. He felt it was the perfect middle ground: a school away from home but also close enough to be with friends and family. Once he got there, he had a gut feeling that this could not be his home for the next four years. “When I went and visited, it wasn’t necessarily the campus that sent me away, but the culture,” Hurley said. “The campus was beautiful and I would have gone in a heartbeat, however the vibes and the culture were what made me want to go to UCF more. I didn’t feel at home at USF and I wanted more of that.” Now, he plans to go to the UCF to study Sports Medicine. “I felt I had more opportunities and connections here at UCF as well as more support from family, and friends,” Hurley said. While some students look for how strong their specific majors are, rooming situations, or Greek life, it seems that a major factor that drives students to their future colleges is the feeling that they get during a campus visit. “You need to feel comfortable and safe at the school you choose and not just pick a school randomly, because you are going to be there for four years of your life,” Whisenant said.

“A tour is honestly necessary because it’s based on what each person is specifically looking for.” –Rosa Mentlick, 11

“You need to go on at least two tours – one big and one small school because every school has a different feel.” - Kayla Whisenant, 11



Pre-touring tips: 1. Explore the college’s official website and review any materials the college has sent you.

“All of the tour guides that showed us around were actual students, and they really explained their experiences. They were super willing to answer questions and super easy to talk to.” –Megan Maschhoff, 11

3. Get a map of the college campus and check where the admission office is. This will help ensure that you’re on time for your visit.

2. Make a list of questions to ask both staff and students. You can use the Campus Visit Checklist as a starting point. 4. Pack a notebook and a camera so you can record your impressions and specific details about the college.

Family matters in college choice Jessica Maldanado


Staff Reporter

or junior Serenity Anderson, picking a college seems easy; both Anderson and her parents want to stay in the area. “My family is not forcing me into a college of their choice. They don’t really care where I go, as long as I’m able to live in their house,” Anderson said. “For me it’s more of an agreement because I would also like to stay at home and just go to UCF.” Family, however, is the biggest factor in college choice. People go where they are familiar, so if someone grew up with their family cheering for their alma mater, or the college where a family member went is nearby, chances are higher that they will go there too. In fact, according to, 69 percent of people go to the same college as their older sibling. “I toured seven schools, but I wanted to go to FSU

in the first place, and the tour confirmed it even more,” senior Madison Pleasants said. “My sister currently goes there, but I’m not going because of her, I’m going because I really like the atmosphere.” According to, it is recommended that college seekers start with who they are and why they are going to college. Students finding out who they are includes knowing what their interests are and definitely their characteristics, a process that can then help that students choose a college that fits them the best. “It depends on your personality in my opinion,” junior Rosa Mentlick said. “Just because your family went there and enjoyed it doesn’t mean you will enjoy it.” The end goal of the process is that students are able to make a decision that will benefit them in the long-run. “Most people think I’m going to FSU because of my sister, which is not entirely wrong because it’s good to have family around, but I’m mostly going because it was the economical choice for me,” Pleasants said.

Design by Melissa Donovan and Ahilyn Aguilar, Illustrations by Sydney Crouch Information for sidebars from College Board

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maple street Burger king


Burger king

Food to Go


percent of Americans find breakfast drive-thrus convenient. Although the high school number is not as high, Mustafa prefers eating breakfast at McDonald’s because of the price, convenience Sarah Dreyer and it is on the way to school. Mustafa is not alone eating Staff Reporter unior Jennifer Mustafa wakes up for McDonald’s for breakfast. Sometimes school at 5:30 a.m. She goes the pantry sophomore Charlotte Coello gets McDonald’s to find Goldfish and crackers, and other on Saturdays because of the proximity and non-breakfast related items. She then opens convenience. “My dad usually picks it up for us the fridge, to find a gallon of milk to have as a nice treat,” Coello and leftovers from dinner. Still said. nothing good for breakfast. Nearly 21 According to the Modern Desperate for something Wellness Guide, about to eat, her last option is percent of people 93 percent of Americans McDonald’s before school. will skip breakfast all believe that breakfast is “I don’t have many breakfast foods at my together, but 43 percent the most important meal of the day. Yet, according to house,” Mustafa said. “I will get something, more than usually go on Wednesdays 53 percent of Americans skip to McDonald’s to get some on the go. breakfast at least once a week, breakfast at least.” and 12 percent never eat breakfast. She usually orders the Popular food items at McDonald’s hotcakes and sausage, but recently, the sausage biscuit, hash browns with a small is the pancakes and sausages; however, Coello prefers the hotcakes to the sausages. There caramel frappe has been her choice. Mustafa is not the only one that eats fast food are also healthy options such as the Fruit and for breakfast. According to, about 45 Maple Oatmeal, Fruit N’ Yogurt Parfait and the





dunkin donuts protein

waffles Omelete

Krispy Kreme



donut king


fast food

waffle house

Battle McDonald’s of the Townhouse



steak ‘n shake


First Watch




News Editor itting down at Keke’s, freshman Julia Flint ate her omelet surrounded by her family. It contained onion, pepper and ham, her favorite combination, but what held her attention during the breakfast was not the food, but the warmth that surrounded her entire family as they shared the morning meal at the sit down restaurant. “I’m happy to spend time with family, just whenever we feel like it,” Flint said. Sit-down restaurants provide an opportunity for friends and family to spend quality time together. The booths and tables that adorn these restaurants act as not only a place to rest weary feet, but also a perfect resting point to pause and spend time with family. Breakfasts at sitdown places like this can last an hour or longer, leaving plenty of time for conversation, smiles and laughter. For many, these qualities are far more important than convenience, which may be why


Emily Cosio


Sit Down eats

restaurants like these are popping up all over meal options. Rather than grabbing a processed Oviedo, like First Watch and Maple Street. breakfast, students can opt for the healthier, While they may carry a heftier price tag, sit down fresher and tastier, although more expensive, restaurants provide opportunities for community option of a sit-down restaurant. and conversation than fast food establishments “We don’t like the stuff that they have [at fast ever could. food places],” Torres said. Among those who cherish this family Often times, fast food places forgo breakfast time is freshman Robert Torres, traditional breakfast food in favor of cheap, whose mother’s busy schedule as a greasy options. Sit-down restaurants police officer prevents them from reverse this trend, and serve “It’s spending time together during breakfast classics. the week. Every weekend, To avoid the high price special, because I Torres and his mother try tags of places like First get to spend time with to go out for breakfast and Watch, some students choose enjoy the little time they more casual restaurants that [family] and sometimes have together before she still allow them to sit down returns to her long hours and enjoy their meal, like you just can’t do during the work week. IHOP or Waffle House. These that.” “It’s special, because I get establishments represent the to spend time with [family] and halfway point between the luxury sometimes you just can’t do that,” of a sit down meal and the price of a Torres said. quick meal. Many students prefer these sit-down Although these places often require more restaurants, mostly because of the better time than the quick, on the go, fast food, the quality food. Unlike fast food chains like extra time often provides the drive that hungry McDonald’s, sit-down restaurants tend to have families need to start a discussion about what is fresher ingredients, and more sophisticated going on with the rest of the family.

Original Opinions by Bryson Turner A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 2) Netflix: **** As Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny (Presley Smith) Boudelaire continue to evade the bombastically evil Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), they also meet new friends and try to solve the mysteries of their parents’ past. Once again, Harris excels as Count Olaf, his versatile acting ability serving wonders for his characters’ many disguises. Beyond that, however, this series, at times, was tilting towards becoming formulaic. With some episodes being more engaging than others. Luckily, the writers put together an enticing overall story arc and all the characters introduced were portrayed excellently. This will definitely draw viewers back to see Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) conclude the siblings’ tales of woe in Season 3.w Game Over, Man! Netflix: * Ever see films like “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” or “Dumb and Dumber” that star less than intelligent, but endearing friends who blindly go on an adventure? Imagine that, but suck out all the charm and replace it with bad acting, horrid writing and enough obnoxious characters to fill a middle school cafeteria. Main character Alexxx (That’s not a typo, his name really has three x’s), played by Adam DeVine from “When We First Met,” is the worst of these offenders. As a self-centered jerk of a character, he has no endearing qualities. Everyone else is either incompetent, an idiot, a jerk, or a combination of all three. For the sake of your sanity, just skip this one.

Egg McMuffin. Junior Christian Hernandez goes for the McGriddle above all, sometimes adding a hash The Dangerous Book For Boys Amazon: **** brown if he feels “extra”. Although he rarely has McDonald’s for It’s not just the breakfast, he only goes if running late for school boys who will enjoy or an appointment. this series. “The “I’ve had their food before,” Hernandez said. Dangerous Book “I know what to expect when ordering from for Boys” follows McDonald’s.” Wyatt McKenna Other fast food place common among (Gabriel Batemen) students is Chick-Fil-A. Like McDonald’s they and his family after serve breakfast daily. the passing of Sophomore Autumn Leggio eats at father and husband McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A for breakfast Patrick (Chris sometimes, but prefers Chick-Fil-A. Diamantopoulos). “The food is good if you want something Whether it’s about Wyatt navigating quick,” Leggio said. through life or mother Beth (Erinn Hayes) A popular item at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast dealing with the financial fallout of Patrick’s is the Chicken Mini’s, Leggio’s favorite. These passing, the series tackled it with a sense are breakfast sandwiches with chicken. The of genuineness and charm that makes Cinnamon Cluster is good to eat, with it. every character relatable and sympathetic. Whether it’s at McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A or Additionally, Swoosie Kurtz steals the show other fast food place, breakfast at food chains are as Wyatt’s grandmother, Tiffany. However, easy and convenient. due to the comedy and drama canceling “I do enjoy McDonald’s because it both each other out, the series ends up being on tastes good and I’m not constantly eating it,” the pleasantly average, perfect for a family Hernandez said. binge night.


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4/10/2018 12:08:36 PM


Track runs into postseason

Under core of leaders, boys, girls track teams look for postseason success Michael Gibson


Sports Editor his year was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The athletes on the girls and boys trackteams knew they were going to have to step up. They did just that; putting new faces on the top of boards leader every week, and both teams finished out the season placing fifth at conference. Behind jumper Jacob Strickle, and runners Vecarie Pettis, Jacob Ball, Sabik Azad and Maria Puccio-Ball, the team jumped over the expected rebuilding year and has produced strong individual contenders heading into the post season. “This group has been pretty tight knitt on and off the track/field,” head coach Matthew Malkovich said. “They have some ownership in their success as a ‘family’ [which] to me that is the best part about it.” The season started out rough. Even though neither team placed in the top three for the first few meets, but there were signs of light in the Trinity Prep. Invitational on Feb. 14. Strickle, who scored 16 of the boys team’s 53 points, expected to do well coming into the season. The girls team finished fourth, their highest of the season. “I went around to different tracks and practiced by myself during the summer,” Strickle said. “I felt confident going into the season and wanted to do well since it was the first meet.” At the Sanford Seminole Invitational, the boys team placed fourth in a 31 team field while the girls placed 12th in a 25 team field. This included schools from all over the state, who were all trying to leave their mark for the postseason. The meet included a 21-point performance from Strickle as he won long jump and placed second in triple jump. The biggest highlight of the day came from both the boys and girls 4x800 teams ,who each won. This was the highest the boys have finished in that meet in school history. “A major contributor for the boys is that this year we have, unlike years past, many multiple year contributors on our team,” Malkovich said. “We welcome everyone out for the team but the learning process, for boys especially, is best when they have been in the program for multiple years.” As the best performance for the girls came in the first meet, the best performance for the

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boys was at the last meet of the year, the Saints Invitational. The team placed second, scoring a season-high 95.5 points and falling just short of Trinity Prep. who scored 100 points. Everyone got involved in the meet and many people placed for the first time. Part of that hard work includes giving up spring and winter break plans and attending practices to stay sharp and consistent as the postseason draws near. Practices over a break are never mandatory, but many athletes make the most of them to get an edge on their competition. The athletes and coaches know that not every school has practice over a break so showing up and giving maximum effort is a must for beating them later in the year. “As a staff, you always hope that your underclassman are watching the upperclassman and how they operate at practice and at meets,” Malkovich said. “The upperclassman take care of business at practice, take care of business at meets, and encourage one another. It truly is a solid group of seniors we have leading this year.” Both teams fell into a slump late in the season, both placing eighth in the Brian Jaeger Invite at Winter Park. The strongest performance of the day came from Strickle, who placed second in long jump with a 21’5’. No other athlete placed in the top three all day. Luckily, that would not be the case for the rest of the season as both teams would place no lower than top five. At the most recent meet, the Seminole Athletic Conference championships, both teams placed fifth, led by Strickle and Pettis on the boys team and Puccio-Ball and thrower Kayra Tasci on the girls team. Strickle would get a personal record in long jump, jumping roughly 22 feet. Strickle, Puccio-Ball and Tasci earned All-SAC second team honors, and Tasci moved up to second on the all-time discus list by throwing 103 feet and placing second. All four girls discus throwers would also place. “It was really cool to get so close to the school record,” Tasci said. “I only have one more definite meet to break it, though, and since I’m a senior I have to.” The team went to districts on Wednesday, April 11 and every athlete who places in the top four will advance to the regional finals and continue their season. Both teams will look to build on a successful season as the athletes train by themselves over the summer.


STAYING ON TRACK Runner Vecarie Pettis (left) races in the 110m hurdles at the Highlander Invitational, where he placed second. Jumper Jacob Strickle (middle) finishes in the triple jump at the Highlander Invitational. Strickle placed first. The boys team finished fifth. Runner Julia Plescha (right) runs in the 4x800 relay, they placed second. The girls team finished seventh. Photos y: DSP

RELAY RUNNING Runner Adam Mastrobuono competes in the 4x800 relay. They placed second in the meet overall. Photo By: DSP

4/10/2018 12:11:01 PM



Girls lacrosse studies for finals

Jessica Maldonado


Staff Reporter ith two games left in the regular season, the girls lacrosse team is on a hot streak with a record of 12-2, and they are ranked fifth in the state. The team also has wrapped up the top seed in this district, and they will play in the first round of districts on April 17. “I’ve been coaching for 12 years and my team now has the most energy and the most persistence any of my teams have ever had,” head coach Mitch Whittington said. “They always give their fullest during practice and the girls have such great communication between them, which is super important for games.” “We still have a whole lot of goals to meet, like going to district finals,” Whittington said. “But my team is just amazing in their work ethic and playing as a team.” The season included a revenge win to Oviedo, with a lopsided end score of 17-5 on March 6. “They have been our biggest rival for as long as I can remember and they won district finals last year, so it’s nice to see our hard work has paid off,” defender Maddie Pleasants said. The team beat district rival Winter Park on March 27, 18-9, which secured them the number one seed in districts. The team will now play Winter Park again in the first rounds of districts, and if they win, they will go to district finals on April 19. Another important win for the team was at a conference game, the team played against Lake Brantley on March 2, and ended the game with a score of 12-1. “As a team this has been our best season so far,” attacker Renee Campbell said. “We work really well together and it has always been about teamwork.” With the season coming to an end, all hopes are on going to the district finals, becoming district champions and advancing to the state playoffs. One senior who will be leaving this year, has been playing since her freshman year and has never made it to the district finals.

“In my four years of playing lacrosse, we have never made it to district finals,” Pleasants said. “This has been the best season ever and best team ever, so my last wish for my last season is for us to make it.” In 2016, the varsity girl’s lacrosse team lost in district semifinals to Oviedo, 20-10. In 2017, they also lost in the semifinals to Oviedo, 13-12. Pleasants got moved up to varsity her sophomore year and she says she has learned so much leadership skills, due to switching her position from attacker to defense. “They are some of my best friends and everyone is so much fun to be around,” Pleasants said. “This is the best team I have ever been a part of and I think we all deserve to finally go to district finals and become district champions.” With the great record, beating Oviedo and clinching the first seed; the team is on a roll and they are realizing and taking advantage of what they can do and what they can achieve. In fact, at the beginning of the season, the team had a goal of only letting in eight goals per game but their average is three. “Accomplishing all these goals and going beyond them is amazing,” Campbell said. “It’s little things like this that motivates us to push.” The team continues to work hard at practices, giving their fullest and doing anything to help them win districts. “Each position do things to help them, like the offensive players do 30 extra minutes of shooting before practice,” said attacker Katie Bolotte. “We also condition as a team to stay in shape.” Even with all the motivation and hard work going toward making it past the semifinals in districts and becoming district champions, there is still some room for fun. “We goof around all the time and we are always jumping around and laughing,” midfielder Laila Viator said. With the district schedule complete and the last regular season game against Oak Hall on Friday, the team hopes the fun continues well DETERMINATION PLAYS A ROLE Junior Ashley Rassel works to get around against a Lake Howell player. into the postseason. The game took place on Feb. 27 at the Sam Momary Stadium and resulted in a 19-1 win. photo by Chatham Farrell

Raising the benchmark


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On Thursday, April 5, the girls lacrosse team defeated West Orange 15-9. It didn’t take long for midfielder Katie Williams to score the first goal, giving the team an early 1-0 lead. Minutes later, the team scored three more times putting them up 4-0 with 19:32 left in the first half. West Orange found the back of the net at the 16 minute mark to make it 4-1. The team held strong, leading 8-4 heading into the half including a late goal scored by Williams assisted by attacker Katie Bolotte. Williams found the net again for her sixth goal of the game, giving the team their largest lead at 12-5 with 15:32 left in the game. Attacker Renee Campbell scored the last goal for the 15th goal of the game at the 3:55 mark. “The team struggled throughout the game, but we beat a quality team,” assistant coach Scott Gallant said.

Noah Kemper

Staff Reporter ith wins in conference and district, the boys weightlifting team finished a strong season with three lifters who went to the state meet. On April 7, lifters competed at Panama City for states. The team finished with two competitors in the top ten, juniors Matt Lee and Nick Palumbo. Lee lifted 650 pounds in total, with a 300-pound clean and jerk, and a bench press of 350 pounds. In regionals, he finished second in his weight class and then finished ninth overall at state. Palumbo lifted 450 pounds total with a 195-pound bench press, and a 220-pound clean and jerk. Palumbo finished eighth in the state finishing third in his weight class at regionals. The third state qualifier, sophomore Tanner Glasco, qualified for states, but was unable to compete because he did not meet the weight requirement. The regional and state results were a year or two ahead of head coach Charles Nassar’s predictions. “With a young team we didn’t anticipate to do well, but our guys worked hard and got stronger – it was a tremendous accomplishment,” Nassar said. The regional meet featured quality performances from more than just the three state qualifiers. Junior Jason Wilkinson, sophomore Trenton Redding, senior Ethan Brewer and senior Zach Martinez did not advance to states, but still put up big numbers. Wilkinson placed fifth in his weight class when he bench pressed 210 pounds and had a clean and jerk of 165 pounds. Redding placed sixth in his weight class with a bench press of 230 pounds and a clean and jerk of 200 pounds. Brewer finished third in his weight class with a bench press of 250 pounds and a clean and jerk of 275 pounds. Martinez bench pressed 310 pounds and had a clean and jerk of 235 pounds. Still, the regional meet was led by the three qualifiers. Glasco finished second in his weight class with a bench press of 210 pounds, and a clean and jerk of 170 pounds. Palumbo finished third in his weight class, with a bench press of 190 pounds and a clean and jerk of 225 pounds.

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BASEBALL LOSES DISTRICT MATCH AGAINST LAKE HOWELL On Friday, April 6, the varsity baseball team battled back from three runs down to tie the game, but lost 7-6 as Lake Howell hit the game-winning hit in the bottom of the final inning. Third basemen Jackson Grabsky and shortstop Vaughn Grissom scored twice, while center fielder Riley Greene and courtesy runner Jordan Engel each scored once. Grabsky, stepping on the mound in relief of starter Luke Babineau, had three strikeouts in the bottom of the sixth inning, keeping the score tied at six leading into the final inning. “We played a good game. We were able to battle back from a few runs down and we showed a lot of heart,” head coach Matthew Cleveland said.

BOYS LACROSSE DOMINATES TRINITY PREP On Wednesday, April 4, the boys lacrosse team dominated Trinity Prep 17-5 on senior night. Sophomore attacker Christian Hofer scored from just outside the net, cutting the lead to one. When the second half started, the team came out firing and attacker Landon Spangenberg found an early goal to give the boys team the lead. After that goal, many other players scored, including mid-fielders David Cox, Jarrett Prachel and Chris Williams. With under two minutes left in the game Hofer scored his fourth goal of the game. The team was led by Hofer, Spangenberg and Prachel. “The team started out slow, but we soon started playing quicker and started playing our offensive system leading to a dominant second half,” head coach Kyle Hofstaedter said.

CARRY THAT WEIGHT Junior Matt Lee completes a clean and jerk in preparation for regionals. He finished ninth in his weight class with a 350-pound bench press and a 300 pound clean and jerk. photo provided by Dean Stewart Photography

Lee finished second in the heavyweight division with a bench press of 360 pounds and a clean and jerk of 310 pounds. “The team played solid all season. We won districts and got third at regionals and sent three lifters to states,” Lee said. With a core of wrestlers returning, especially the three state qualifiers, the team hopes to advance even more wrestlers to the state finals next season. “Our team looks very solid for the future,” Nassar said.

4/10/2018 11:56:55 AM